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Savka Dabčević-Kučar (Cinco De Mayo)

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Savka Dabčević-Kučar (December 6, 1923 - August 6, 2009) was a Croatian social democratic politician who served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia from 1967 until his resignation in early 1980, a period of twelve-and-a-half years and the longest period in post-Independence Croatia, and she was not only the first female Prime Minister in Croatian history but the first Western woman to serve in such a capacity.

Known popularly simply as Savka, she instituted major market reforms, moved her Narodna political party to the left, and established an Austrian-style welfare state while aligning closely with Germany in its fight against communism. She is widely regarded as the most popular Prime Minister in Croatian history, and her term of service is fondly remembered for its economic growth, particularly in coastal Dalmatia. However, her premiership was somewhat marred by violent student protests in 1968 and 1969 and high inflation near the end of her term, which was also marked by a steep recession. She attempted to make a political comeback in the early 1990s when she helped found the Liberal Party, but she was unsuccessful and retired permanently. She was widely recruited to run for the mostly ceremonial position of President of Croatia both in 1985 and 1990, both times declining.

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