Hungary


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The elections held in Hungary in April this year have given a slim majority to a social democrat-liberal coalition, ousting the incumbent centre-right government of Viktor Orbán who was forecast to win another term in office. Our correspondent in Hungary looks at the real situation facing workers today.

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Hungary put in a GDP growth of 6.8% in the first quarter of the year 2000 and expects a rate of growth of 5-5.5% by the end of the year. These are impressive figures, which any visitor seeing signs of a building boom, lots of new cars on the streets and a well-dressed, well-fed population would quickly confirm. Is the advent of capitalism bringing the horn of plenty to Hungary or is the picture somewhat less straight forward?

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We are republishing this article on the electoral victory of the former Stalinists in Hungary in 1994, first published in Socialist Appeal issue 23, July 1994. Following the trend of much of Eastern Europe Hungary in 1994 placed back in power the leaders and parties it had rejected just five years earlier. This article explains the background to the Socialists' victory.

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We are republishing this article on the effects of the transition to capitalism in Hungary first published in Socialist Appeal issue 20, March 1994. "Miles and miles of closed factories greeted me as I travelled into Budapest. The contrast in downtown Budapest could not have been sharper. The swish, but very expensive shops and well dressed shoppers made me feel I had risen out of the Metro into a different world. The advent of capitalism has produced a polarisation of the population in terms of appearance, mood, wealth and lifestyle. A small, but significant section of people were living very well, but the vast majority, especially those in some country areas, where...

On March 21st, 1919, the Hungarian Soviet Republic was proclaimed. On the 1st of August, 133 days later, this heroic chapter in the history of the Hungarian working class was brought to a close with the entry of the White Rumanian army into Budapest. Had the Hungarian proletariat succeeded, the isolation of the Russian Workers' Republic would have been brought to an end.

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