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Top Thatcher Protege Mart Laar Credits Iron Lady with Teaching Decision-Making

Two-time Estonian prime minister and current MP Mart Laar remembered Margaret Thatcher as a "great woman and good friend" in an interview with ETV.

"Today is certainly a sad day," he said regarding Britain's first woman prime minister, who died earlier today.  

Laar called himself "fortunate" to have become personally acquainted and friends with Thatcher. Laar's first term as Estonian PM started in 1993, three years after Thatcher's rule ended.

"Thatcher's energetic style as the Iron Lady - she got that name from Russia, the Soviet Union back then - was the best indicator and explanation why she was so popular in Estonia," said Laar.

Thatcher changed the world not only in foreign policy but also in general, Laar said. "She was the leader of the world conservative revolution that thoroughly transformed our economic policy and social principles from the former left-wing direction, to a different, human-centered footing," he said.

Laar said he also learned negative traits from Thatcher. "Some of her negative behavioral traits passed on to me more or less intact over time, but I sure don't consider them bad. It was more that the main thing I picked up from her was decisiveness, that if you want to do something, do it, and don't just stand there trembling."

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