Eyskens, Gaston

Eyskens, Gaston

(gästôN` ī`skəns), 1905–88, Belgian political leader. He became a professor at the Univ. of Louvain in 1931. A Christian Socialist member of parliament (1939–73), he headed the ministry of finance (1945, 1947–49, 1965–66), served as governor of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1947–49), and was minister of economic affairs (1950). He was three times prime minister (1949, 1958–61, 1968–72). In his second term, Belgium ceded independence to CongoCongo, Democratic Republic of the,
formerly Zaïre
, republic (2005 est. pop. 60,086,000), c.905,000 sq mi (2,344,000 sq km), central Africa. It borders on Angola in the southwest and west, on the Atlantic Ocean, Cabinda (an Angolan exclave), and the Republic of
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 (Kinshasa), and in his last term he attempted to resolve the long-standing friction between Belgium's French-speaking and Dutch-speaking communities.

Eyskens, Gaston

 

Born Apr. 1, 1905, in Lierre, Antwerp Province. Belgian state and political figure; doctor of economic, political, and social sciences.

Eyskens studied at the University of Louvain and Columbia University. He became a professor at the University of Louvain in 1931. In 1939, Eyskens was elected to Parliament, where he was one of the leaders of the Christian Social Party. In 1945 and again from 1947 to 1949, he served as minister of finance; during the second term he served concurrently as deputy prime minister. He was prime minister in 1949 and 1950, from 1958 to 1961, and from 1968 to 1972. Eyskens served as minister of economic affairs in 1950 and as minister of finance in 1965 and 1966.