During the communist era, the social security system was well developed in Hungary. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of HUN and acronym for Hungary. Since 1989, the new economic system has led to deterioration in social services, and the standard of living has fallen for the majority of citizens. Today, healthcare is free, and patients pay 15% of drug costs. The sickness benefit amounts to 75% of salary and unemployment allowance during the first six months to 60-70% and then 55-65% of salary. Maternity allowance is paid until the child reaches the age of three. Daycare places are available for just over 90% of children aged 3-6 years. Old-age pensions are paid at 60-70% of the salary at the age of 60 to men and at 55 to women. The number of doctors in 1997 was 3.5 per 1,000 residents. The standard of care is low; there is a great lack of aids and medicine, and the employees in the healthcare sector are underpaid. The most common causes of death are cardiovascular disease and cancer. Alcohol abuse is a major social and medical problem. The housing shortage is great. Unemployment rose from 2.2% in 1991 to about 18% in 1993, but has since fallen to 8.7% (1997). Hungary has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
1989 Far-reaching reforms
In January 1989, Parliament passed new laws granting the right to strike, demonstrate and form political associations. At the same time, it adopted an economic crisis package that included: entailed a reduction in subsidies and a drastic devaluation of the currency. Unemployment was already at 100,000 and inflation at 30% annually.
The Communist Party also decided to give up its monopoly on power, and on March 15 was to be celebrated as the Independence Day – the anniversary of the 1848 revolt against Austria. In March, a demonstration with 100,000 people demanded the holding of free elections and the withdrawal of Soviet troops. In subsequent local elections in various places in the country, opposition candidates won. In August, 2 million workers went on strike to raise prices. Following an agreement between the Communist Party and the opposition, in October Parliament declared Hungary as a republic – the People’s Republic had been abolished – and removed the Communist Party provision as the only allowed party.
Hungary was the country in the Warsaw Pact that quickly broke out of the alliance structure that had been created during the Cold War. Over two years, Budapest established relations with Israel, South Korea and South Africa.
At the end of the year, the Communist Party converted to Hungary’s Socialist Party (MSZP), but a faction broke out and retained the old party name. At the 1990 elections, the Hungary Democratic Forum gained 43% of the vote and formed with the support of two smaller parties government. The MSZP and the old Communist Party got respectively. 10.3% and 3.5% of the votes.
Hungary’s Prime Minister met in late 1991 in Poland with the Presidents of Czechoslovakia and Poland to strengthen regional cooperation. The three heads of state expressed a desire to formalize relations with NATO and the Western Union. At the same time, the Krakow Declaration from the meeting emphasized the need for closer connection with the EU, which was given top priority in the foreign policy of the three countries.
In January 1992, the government decided to reduce the government deficit, which in 1991 exceeded US $ 900 million. This should be done by reducing government spending by 4%. This led to increasing popular dissatisfaction, which was manifested in part through a series of strikes and partly in the decline in turnout. Joszef Number of the government was thus forced into a more cautious course. abandon oil prices.
The economic crisis favored the development of nationalist and xenophobic (xenophobic) tendencies. One of the most notorious terms was the publication of a manifesto signed by the author and Vice-President of the Democratic Forum, István Csurka, in which the ex-communists, the “western” oriented liberals, the gypsies and the Jews are made responsible for “the deterioration of the social situation”.
The Liberal Democratic Forum immediately condemned the manifesto and a few days later 70,000 people from various political groups conducted a “march for democracy” and to “remove the country from the specter of radicalism”. In the aftermath of these events, 48 neo-Nazi skinheads were convicted of Gypsy and foreigners.
In October 1993, Number was replaced by Peter Boross at the Prime Minister’s post. During the March 94 election campaign, the government fired 129 journalists and 30 cultural and political programs were tuned to the three state radio channels. The move was condemned by international organizations in defense of human rights.
In the May elections, MSZP, with Gyula Horn in the lead, won 54% of the vote and got 208 out of Parliament’s 386 seats. The Free Democratic Alliance declined from 90 to 70 seats, and the former ruling Democratic Forum fell from 43% to 10% – equivalent to a reduction from 165 to 37 seats in parliament.
Horn took over the post of prime minister and at the end of the year the supremacy of the former communists was confirmed by local elections. However, the people’s crush on the party in March 95 was brought to an abrupt end as it implemented a particularly unpopular crisis package. The government reduced, among other things. drastically the education budget, unemployment benefits and the contribution to women on maternity leave. All to reduce the budget deficit.
At the international level, Horn continued its efforts towards the Western powers as well as negotiations with neighboring countries to help the Hungarian minorities in them “preserve their cultural identity”. In May 96, Hungary signed an agreement with Slovakia on the defense of ethnic minorities, and in September a similar agreement was signed with Romania.