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Hungary’s Socialist Project in Crisis
By the early summer of 1989 Hungary had become a de facto multi-party system, albeit still within a one-party structure.  Numerous political forces operated openly, experiencing minimal official harassment, with meaningful if unequal access to the media. Virtually all significant actors, including the reform wing of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (hswp),  agreed that the forthcoming elections would be fought with no built-in majority for any party, and that the hswp should enjoy no privileged status in parliament or any other sphere of social or economic life. All advocated reforms in education and the social services which would offer new possibilities for private initiative. All averred that Hungary’s economic future lay in a ‘mixed economy’, with a large private sector, in which competing insurance companies would play a significant role, in which there would be extensive foreign participation, and in which links with the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) would be weakened, while those with the European Community (Common Market) strengthened.
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