Belgium: The Malaise

What with the humiliating Congo defeat, the winter's long labor riots and the nation's economic malaise, Belgium was limp, dispirited and hardly in a mood for another round of national elections. Not even the campaign speeches of popular Paul-Henri Spaak. who quit as NATO Secretary-General to take over leadership of the Socialists, could whip up the listless crowds. Spaak's electioneering Socialists blamed Premier Gaston Eyskens and his Catholic-backed Social Christians for the Congo debacle, and attacked Eyskens' sensible but unpopular economic austerity program—price of the lost Congo— because it meant higher taxes and reduced pensions. Belgium's voters were ready to...

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