Unitary Law

Photograph of crowds in Brussels demonstrating against the law during the general strike of 1960-61.

The Law on Economic Growth, Social Progress and Fiscal Redressment (French: Loi d'expansion économique, de progrès social et de redressement financier, Dutch: wet voor de economische expansie, de sociale vooruitgang en het financieel herstel), better known as the Unitary Law[1] (Loi unique or Eenheidswet), was a Belgian law passed in 1961. The law introduced a fiscal austerity programme, intended to reduce Belgium’s large government debt and to respond to the independence of the Belgian Congo in 1960. It was championed by the Christian Social Party government of Gaston Eyskens.

The bill met with fierce protest from Liberals and Socialists alike. Opposition culminated in a general strike over the winter of 1960-61, described as "one of the most serious class confrontations in Belgium's social history", which brought out 700,000 workers out on strike.[1] The protest was unsuccessful, however, and the law was passed on 14 February 1961. New elections were held soon afterwards, bringing to power a coalition of the Christian Social Party and Socialists.


  1. ^ a b Witte et al. 2009, p. 277.


  • Witte, Els; Craeybeckx, Jan; Meynen, Alain (2009). Political history of Belgium from 1830 onwards (New ed.). Brussels: ASP. ISBN 978-90-5487-517-8.

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