Birthplace: Evergem, Belgium
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Head of State
Executive summary: Prime Minister of Belgium, 1981-92
Born in East Flanders, Martens was a proponent of federalism for Belgium, for which he was originally labelled an extremist. He entered politics organizing street protests over underrepresentation of Flemish language and culture, then went on to head the youth faction of the Christian People's Party, 1965-72. Martens organized the victorious 1974 campaign for the party, cooperating closely with Leo Tindemans. After the latter's resignation, Martens became Prime Minister of nine of the ten coalition governments from 1979 to 1991. Besides federalism, key issues during his tenure included economic policy and the European Union.
Father: (farmer, d. 1943)
Wife: Lieve Verschroeven (div.)
Wife: Ilse Schouteden
University: Catholic University of Louvain
Prime Minister of Belgium (1981-92)
Prime Minister of Belgium (1979-81)
Member of Belgian Parliament (1974-)
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