Martens, Wilfried, 1936–, Belgian statesman. A lawyer and well-respected negotiator, he was president (1965–71) of the youth wing of the Christian People's party and then served as president (1972–79) of the party. Elected to the Belgian lower house in 1971, he served as a representative until his election as a senator in 1991 and retired as a legislator in 1994. In the fractious world of Belgian politics, Martens proved a popular figure. Premier from 1979 to 1992, he survived elections in 1982 and 1987 that focused on economic policy and a language dispute. As a Christian Democractic leader in Europe, he has been active in the development of the European People's party, a grouping of Christian Democrats and other center-right parties, and since 1990 he has served as head of the group.
See his autobiography (tr. 2009).
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