In 1939 with the arrival of World War II, history repeated itself but after two weeks of struggle, Leopold III, then sovereign of Belgium, decided to end the resistance.
This decision was not in the least shared by the people so much so that at the end of the war, with a new defeat of Germany, the people themselves did not want Leopold III to reign; he was therefore forced to pass on his powers to his son Baldwin, on August 1, 1950, when he was still a minor. And Baldwin the following year, now an adult, became king of Belgium.
It was July 17, 1951. But the population was still not satisfied. Since Leopold remained in the royal residence, it was thought to influence his son’s policy.
According to Abbreviationfinder, the government was ruled at the time by the Christian socialists, but in 1954 the elections awarded the victory to the socialist-liberals and their leader was A. van Ackers. In 1958, and beyond, there was a continuous alternation in government between these two parties.
1959 was a rather eventful year. In the spring the ex-king Leopold was forced to leave the royal residence under the accusation of having also organized the wedding of the crown prince, Alberto di Liegi, with the Italian Paola Ruffo di Calabria, in the Vatican instead of in Brussels, in the middle of the his people.
Then demonstrations began in the Congo, which wanted independence. Great were the differences between the Belgian and Congolese authorities on how to reach the autonomy regime. And the controversies did not subside even in December of that year with the visit of King Baudouin on the spot.
In foreign policy, Belgium joined all the political and economic organizations of the western bloc.
For Congo a program of acceleration of the times for independence was applied which, in fact, was proclaimed on June 30, 1960. By 1962, Rwanda and Urundi also detached themselves from Belgium and proclaimed their independent republics.
In December 1960 King Baldwin married the Spanish Fabiola de Mora y Aragon; shortly thereafter he was forced to interrupt his honeymoon and return home to settle an internal dispute in the country, which arose between the head of the Christian-social-liberal government Gaston Eyskens and the opposition. The government resigned and was replaced by a coalition cabinet between Christian social and socialists, chaired by Theo Lefevre. But the main problem arose with the contrasts between the Flemish and the Walloons, totally different in ethnicity and language, and mainly present, the latter, in the capital Brussels, bilingual, but with a French-speaking majority, located in Flemish territory.
After the 1966 elections, the Christian-social groups formed the new government by allying themselves with the liberals, but in February 1968 the different ethnic groups came to the breaking of the agreements for which the government had to resign. And the deep crisis created by the two ethnic groups characterized the whole course of the seventies.
After the early elections of April 1977, a new government was formed with a large coalition of Christian-social, socialists, Flemish and Walloons. The head of government, Tindemans, proposed the development of an economic program that would deal with the revitalization of employment, production, federal reform of the state with the granting of a wide administrative, economic and social autonomy to the two Flemish ethnic groups and the Walloons. Failing to obtain consensus, however, Tindemans resigned in October 1978, replaced by his party colleague P. van den Boeynants.
In April 1979 yet another coalition government was led by Flemish Christian social leader W. Martens. In August 1980 a special statute was approved for Flanders and Wallonia; However, the situation in Brussels remained unsolved. In the eighties, in addition to the alternations of the various governments, there were many acts of terrorism of which the Communist Fighting Cells were accused.
Continuing the years-old disputes, Martens resigned and the Socialists came to the government. Between 1988 and 1989 the first two phases of the federal reform were approved and a first decentralization of financial resources began to be applied from central to regional authorities.
On April 4, 1990, a serious constitutional crisis deprived King Baudouin of his sovereign functions, as he refused to put his approval on the law that provided for the voluntary termination of pregnancy, due to his religious convictions. And for that day only, his functions were performed by Parliament.
In 1991 the nationalists belonging to the Volksunie withdrew from the coalition government and Martens was forced to resign. In the same year, there were early elections which saw the Party of Ecologists reach fourth place while all the others had lost a lot of support. This is because the various representatives of those parties, involved in some scandals, no longer had the confidence of the voters.
The new coalition government was chaired by Christian-social JL Dehaene. He completed the constitutional reform already initiated by Martens and in 1993 Belgium became a federal state. In the same year King Baldwin died and was succeeded by his brother Alberto di Liège.
Among disputes of various kinds, several scandals also broke out in 1994 involving three socialist ministers who had to resign. They were accused of having collected bribes from the Italian company Agusta, which thus intended to secure some orders from the Belgian government.
The European elections of 1994 highlighted the great growth of right-wing parties. The Flemish community also proposed to transform the federal state into a confederal state.
With the political elections of 1995 the center-left recovered a good part of the electorate; Thus the government was formed and Dehaene was appointed Prime Minister.
The new government, in view of joining the European Monetary Union, took care to apply cuts in public spending and started with the field of rail transport and school. This triggered a wave of strikes such that the government had to come to an agreement with the unions in April 1996 to contain the high unemployment rate. In the same year a serious scandal struck Belgium when a gang operating in pedophilia and murders was discovered, protected and indeed supported by elements belonging to the police forces, the judiciary and the same politics. The entire ruling class was charged. Belgium’s image was largely blurred. It was not enough. In 1997 some industrial plants were closed and with the rise in unemployment there were demonstrations and chain strikes.