Paul van Zeeland
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|Paul van Zeeland|
|Prime Minister of Belgium|
25 March 1935 – 23 November 1937
|Preceded by||Georges Theunis|
|Succeeded by||Paul-Emile Janson|
|Born||Paul Guillaume van Zeeland
11 November 1893
|Died||22 September 1973(aged 79)|
|Political party||Catholic Party|
Paul Guillaume van Zeeland (11 November 1893 – 22 September 1973) was a Belgian lawyer, economist, Catholic politician and statesman born in Soignies.
In March 1935, he became the prime minister of a government of national unity (a coalition comprising the three major parties: Catholics, Liberals and Socialists). Given decree powers, he was able to abate the economic crisis the country was going through, by devaluing the currency and resorting to expansive budgetary policies.
Van Zeeland's government resigned in the spring of 1936 due to the agitation of Rexism (a Belgian fascist party), but he was able to start a new term (June 1936 – November 1937). After proclaiming martial law, the government was able to suppress the Rexists.
The second Van Zeeland government carried through a progressive social reform programme, introducing the 40 h working week and measures against unemployment, which helped to ease the political tensions. Also during his second term, Belgium gave up its military alliance with France and reverted to its traditional "neutrality" policy, now dubbed "policy of independence".
In 1939, Van Zeeland became president of the Committee on Refugees, established in London, and was made High Commissioner for the repatriation of displaced Belgians in 1944. In 1946, he was one of the founders of the European League for Economic Cooperation. After the war, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in several Catholic governments between 1949 and 1954 and as economic advisor to the Belgian government and to the council of ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. He was Honorary Secretary General of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.
In 2013, he was found out to have started a Panamanian offshore company to the consternation of his family.
- "Former Steering Committee Members". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- "Offshore Leaks: Kleindochter oud-premier Van Zeeland zet stap opzij op kabinet-Milquet". De Morgen (Belgium), 13 April 2013
|Prime Minister of Belgium
|New office||President of the European League for Economic Cooperation