The Belgian workers strike of 1960-61, often referred to as “Winter Strike” or “The Strike of the Century”, was considered to be one of the most important Belgian strikes of the 20th century. Strike history in Belgium had always been slightly unconventional compared to Northern European, North American, and French and Italian strikes. Differences existed in the frequency of strikes, the size of the strikes, as well as the duration. Belgium had frequent strikes pre World War II, and this history of striking contributed to the success of the Winter Strike.
On 2 December 2011, tens of thousands of Belgian citizens took to the streets in the capital, Brussels, to protest the austerity measures taken by the then-incoming government. The new socialist prime minister was going to be sworn in the week after this protest to try and fix the financial crisis that had left Belgium without a government for 19 months. The government needed to save 11.3 billion euros in the year of 2012 to decrease its budget deficit below the EU limit of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP).