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The Sorrows of BelgiumLiberation and Political Reconstruction, 1944-1947$
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Martin Conway

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199694341

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694341.001.0001

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Economic Conflict and Political Realignment, February 1946–March 1947

Economic Conflict and Political Realignment, February 1946–March 1947

(p.319) 7 Economic Conflict and Political Realignment, February 1946–March 1947
The Sorrows of Belgium

Martin Conway

Oxford University Press

The elections of February 1946 produced a clear victor in the form of the new Catholic Party (the CVP-PSC), but the inability of the Catholic political leaders and their Socialist opponents to reach a compromise on the future status of the King rendered impossible the creation of a Catholic–Socialist government. Instead, Van Acker returned as prime minister at the head of a Socialist-led left-wing alliance. This however had a small majority, and was defeated in the summer of 1946 after a period of prolonged industrial unrest. The veteran Socialist Camille Huysmans took over as prime minister of a government composed of the same parties, but discontent over economic policy and especially the issue of the coal industry led to the resignation of the Communist ministers and the end of the government. Finally, in March 1947 a Socialist–Catholic government was created.

Keywords:   Belgium, politics, strikes, Van Acker, Catholic Party, Socialist Party, Leopold III, economic policy, coal

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