January Because of their disagreement with the democratically elected leadership, whose members partly come from the new opposition, 26 writers declare their decision to leave the Association of Writers in order to express loyalty to the leadership of the ruling party.
Beszélő gives an analysis of the political crisis and the restoration efforts following the crackdown on the 1956 revolution. The journal publishes a paper by János Kis as well as the minutes of three meetings of the Central Workers' Council of Greater Budapest, the December 1956 memorandum of the Petőfi Peasants' Party and István Eörsi's memoirs. "Elek Fényes" (János M. Rainer) is the first to publish a comprehensive account of the retaliations following the revolution. Under the title "Conception and reality the journal presents the sentence of the fabricated trial in the case of Gábor Földes and his associates as well as István Angyal's farewell letter and essays by Sándor Szilágyi, Tamás Mikes, György Krassó and Ferenc Kőszeg.
A committee is formed to make preparations for a conference in Monor (the members are Tamás Bauer, István Csurka, Lajos Für, János Kenedi, János Kis, László Lengyel, Imre Mécs, Miklós Vásárhelyi).
The members of the Council of Ministers give talks of the severe conditions of Hungarian economy to workers nationwide.
January 1. Deputy minister László Maróthy is appointed chairman of the National Planning Office. Frigyes Berecz, currently the executive director of BHG, becomes a minister. The retiring István Hetényi is succeeded by his deputy, Péter Medgyessy as head of the Ministry of Finance. Miklós Németh comes to head the economic policy department of the Central Committee of HSWP.
January 15. Decision is made at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on forming several new governmental committees: the Economic Policy Committee is replaced by the Economic Supervisory Committee; also, several new ones are established such as the Committee for International Economic Relations, the Committee for Scientific Policy and the National Defense Committee.
January 16. Chao Tse Jang is elected managing secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party. The first foreign politician he receives in his new position is Ferenc Havasi, secretary of the Central Committee of HSWP. From Beijing Havasi travels to Tokyo to meet, among others, Prime Minister Nakasone Jasuhiro.
January 24. The Central Committee of the Communist Youth Organization publishes a summons entitled "Our future is at stake" which is aimed at involving the members of the youth organization in implementing the program initiated by HSWP and making it acceptable to the general public.
January 31. Béla Köpeczi, minister of culture announces that the government does not recognize the Association of Writers as the only representative organization of Hungarian writers.
January 28. The police confiscate the entire collection of exhibits found in Tibor Philipp's apartment which was meant to be put on display later under the title "The fighting city".
February 17. Representatives of the Hungarian National Bank sign an agreement with a consortium of American, Japanese and Western-European banks for a loan of 200 million USD.
February 17. Prime Minister György Lázár, on his official visit to Italy, is given private audience by the Pope.
February 25. János Kádár receives Milanko Renicova, President of the Union of Yugoslavian Communists' Presidency.
March After a break of half a year Tiszatáj is republished.
Jenő Nagy, manager of the independent publishing house ABC is first sentenced to pay severe fines, then all is personal property is sequestrated. Measures of "preventive" arrests are intended to intimidate the opposition.
March 2. A new law on land is passed, which abolishes the institution of permanent leasehold.
March 2. Hungary joins to support the joint Yugoslavian-Canadian proposal of the Vienna Meeting concerned with European security and cooperation which is aimed at strengthening the rights of European national minorities.
March 5. For the first time under the new Bankruptcy Act legal action is brought against a major company, the State Construction Company of Veszprém.
March 6. Pope John Paul II appoints László Paskay archbishop of Esztergom.
March 8-10. Sir Geoffrey Howe, British foreign secretary pays a three-day visit to Hungary and signs a contract for protecting investments and for cultural cooperation with his Hungarian partners.
March 11. For the second time in the last six months the Hungarian forint is devalued by 8% by the Hungarian National Bank with respect to convertible currencies.
March 15. Imre Pozsgay gives a speech at the central government ceremony in which he brings up the possibility of political and institutional reforms. The independent commemorations in Budapest take place without any atrocities on the part of the authorities. György Gadó speaks in front of the House of Parliament, then he talks about Imre Nagy's martyrdom at the Batthyány sanctuary lamp. From here a few hundred people march to the Bem sculpture where Tibor Pákh, referring to the 12 points of 1848, calls for the withdrawal of foreign troops. Mátyás Szurös, secretary of the Central Committee of HSWP is conducting negotiations in the United States. He is received by vice president George Bush and secretary of state George Shultz.
April The political police is continuously harassing and imposing fines under various different pretexts on the editors of the samizdat paper Égtájak között (Among corners of the world), Mikolta Bognár, József Talata, Gyula Bartók and László Rusai.
April 1. The government spokesman and a statement issued by the presidency of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences both rebut the accusations made by Rumanian circles concerning the three volumes of the publication entitled "The history of Transylvania", which implicate revenge and the distortion of history.
April 8. László Paskai, archbishop of Esztergom takes the oath to the Hungarian constitution.
April 10. The Jurta Theater of the Hungarian Theater Circle is dedicated in Népliget, its director is László Romhányi.
April 12. The Council of Minister announces a central rise in consumer prices. For instance, the price of meat and meat products, alcoholic drinks and a few machine industrial consumer goods are raised.
April 23. The Board of Foreign Ministers of the Common Market authorizes the committee of the EEC in Brussels to carry on negotiations with Hungary with the aim to make a trade and economic agreement.
April 28. The Common Market reasserts that it is willing to negotiate the possible trade agreement with Hungary.
At the meeting of the Economic Panel working parallel with the Central Committee of HSWP Ferenc Havasi, economic secretary of the CC, Imre Pozsgay and Rezs FACE="Times New Roman">ő Nyers all support the memorandum entitled "Change and reform", which is the first coherent economic proposal to solve the economic crisis since 1968. (The document and the various positions on it are first published in the June issue of Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review)).
April 28-30. The meeting of the Central Committee of HSWP puts on its agenda the basic principles of the new central and corporation taxing system. A press release is issued on April 30, stressing the need to transform the taxing system for private incomes and corporations, and to modify the pension system.
May 6. The presidency of the Jewish World Congress meets in Budapest.
May 10. Negotiations begin between Hungary and the Vatican in Budapest: Imre Miklós, chairman of the State Office for Church Affairs and nuntius/legate?? Francesco Colosauonno discuss the relations between the two states.
May 15. György Aczél, member of the Political Committee of HSWP conducts negotiations in Washington, DC.
Raoul Wallenberg's sculpture is inaugurated in Buda.
May 19. Sergei Sokolov, Soviet minister for defense pays a visit to Hungary.
May 26. János Kádár is congratulated on the occasion of his 75th birthday at a parliamentary ceremony.
June 1. Armand Hammer, Chairman of Occidental Petroleum is received by jános Kádár in Budapest.
The Hungarian National bank decides to raise the interest rate of short-term loans available for banks and other financial institutions by 2%.
June 5. Emil Bobu and Ion Stoian, secretaries of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party pay a visit to Budapest. In the course of the negotiations the Hungarian party states its position clearly: although settling the matters of ethnic Hungarians in Rumania is an internal affair of their country, the issue has international aspects and bears on Hungary as well.
June 10. For the first time in 30 years top level leaders of Hungary and China meet in Budapest. As a result of the talks between Chao Tse Yang and János Kádár an agreement is signed for long-term economic, scientific and technological cooperation.
June 16. On the 29th anniversary of the execution of Imre Nagy and his associates the Batthyány sanctuary lamp in Budapest is symbolically pronounced to be the Batthyány-Imre Nagy memorial lamp in the presence of some 50 to 60 people and a large body of police. (The commemoration was mainly organized by the Inconnu group.) In the evening another commemoration is held in Tibor Philipp's home, where Pál Lőcsei, Pál Szalay and Tibor Pákh make a speech and read out Erzsébet Nagy's message. A leaflet is issued in several hundred copies in Budapest demanding the rehabilitation of Imre Nagy.
June 23. At the meeting of the CC of HSWP several leading party officials are replaced: the new secretaries of the CC are: György Fejti, responsible for the armed forces; János Lukács, for the party and other labor organizations; Miklós Németh, for economy. György Lázár becomes the new deputy secretary general. The new member of the politburo are: János Berecz, Judit Csehák. Ferenc Havasi is elected secretary of the Budapest party committee.
June 25-26. In a secret session the Parliament approves of the recommendations made by the CC of HSWP and the National Council of the Patriotic People's Front concerning the replacement of leaders. Pál Losonczi is relieved from his office; Károly Németh becomes the president of the Presidential Council. György Lázár is succeeded by Károly Grósz as Prime Minister. The retiring Lajos Czinege is replaced by István Horváth as deputy Prime Minister.
In his report the minister of finance gives it out that the deficit of the state finances in 1986 was twice as high as envisaged beforehand.
July 1. The tariff preference in private travel is raised from 6,000 to 10,000 forints per person.
The institution of "public work" is introduced: unemployed people can be hired by the local councils to do various occasional jobs for the good of the local community.
The Tax and Financial Auditing Office is established.
July 2. At a meeting of the CC of HSWP it is openly admitted that the current economic policy has failed, and a new program for economic and political development is accepted.
July 5. A statement is released by the CC of HSWP in which it is laid down that "the economic reform process needs to be extended on a large scale."
July 6. John Charles I pays a visit to Hungary.
July 9. For the first time jobless people are employed for public labor in Miskolc and Ózd.
July 16. The government spokesman says: the council of ministers will submit its program of action to the Parliament in September.
July 17. Károly Grósz travels to Moscow for two days, where he meets Gorbachev. The Hungarian Prime Minister states that "the revolutionary changes taking place in the Soviet Union are looked upon favorably" by the Hungarian nation.
July 19. István Csurka writes a letter to Miklós Vásárhelyi, in which he cancels participation at the second meeting in Monor under way on behalf of populist circles, which thus meets with failure. The reason for this step is a paper published in FACE="Times New Roman">Beszélő under the title "Social Contract" which speaks for the whole opposition but which has not been agreed upon by the populists. (Earlier Sándor Lezsák has already been asked to organize a meeting dominated by the populists.)
July 20. The Council of Ministers decides to raise prices again, justified partly by the endeavor to reduce the budget deficit. The price of power supplies, cigarettes, flour and bakery products is raised significantly. At the same time decision is made "to take measures to supplement incomes."
July 22. The leaders of the Hungarian National Bank and a consortium of 39 western banks sign an agreement on a 400 million USD loan.
July 27. The scheme of the tax reform is discussed by several parliamentary committees.
August 3. The member of the Council of Ministers and the leaders of the National Council of Trade Unions discuss issues of the tax reform and the main directions of the economic plan for the coming year.
August 13. The Council of Ministers approves of the introduction of personal income tax and turnover tax. Government spokesman Rezső Bányász announces that the forint will not be devalued before the end of the year.
August 15. Starting up another reactor block completes the first phase of the development of the Paks Atomic Power Station. According to current plans the power station will be installed with two more blocks, also designed by the soviets, in the 1990s.
August 22. On the 150th anniversary of the National Theater Béla Köpeczi, Minister of Culture announces that a competition will be conducted to find a new site for the theater.
August 23. The independent artistic group Inconnu - on the 48th anniversary of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact - sends a letter to the embassy of the Soviet Union in Budapest in which they demand independence for the Baltic states.
August 31. Representatives of the Hungarian National Bank sign a contract with the World Bank for a 150 million USD loan to promote the ongoing program for reshaping the structure of Hungarian industry.
Fall Issue No 21 of Beszélő publishes an essay by István Csurka entitled "On behalf of the first victim". In it Csurka traces back the "lethal state" of society to the disillusionment following 1956.
September 8. One hundred intellectuals turn to the Parliament in an open letter in which they criticize the economic program of the Council of Ministers and call upon the House to initiate substantive changes. (Those signing the letter comprise the populists, the reformist economists, the 56-ers as well as members of the democratic opposition.) In spite of the criticism on September 16-17 the Parliament approves of the economic program submitted by the Council of Ministers without blackball. At a press conference on September 18 Károly Grósz states that the government's program "continues and at the same time renews the bold and progressive policy which helped the country to leave behind the tragedy of 1956."
Hungary signs an agreement with Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, the German Federal Republic, Italy and Sweden to protect investments.
September 9. Károly Grósz conducts negotiations with Japanese leading economic experts, who are then received by János Kádár, first secretary of HSWP.
September 10. The Council of Ministers establishes an employment fund.
September 19. The Parliament passes the new tax laws.
September 27. In Lakitelek close to 150 intellectuals get together at a "friendly meeting" in order to discuss openly the grave situation in the country. The introductory lecture is delivered by Imre Pozsgay, first secretary of the Patriotic People's Front. A proclamation is accepted in which they call upon the leaders of the country and the party to start a dialog. (The proclamation is published in the 1987 November 14 issue of Magyar Nemzet, in a full-page interview with Pozsgay.) The meeting is attended by several 56-ers, but issues of the 56 revolution is only touched upon in passing. No criticism of the official stand on 1956 is raised.
September 28. Károly Németh, president of the Presidential Council receives the Archbishop of Canterbury.
September 29. Frantz Vranitzky, Austrian chancellor conducts negotiations in Budapest. A statement is issued in which the two parties raise the possibility of organizing the 1995 World Exhibition jointly.
October Several publications appear in samizdat format: "Our dead"; a photo album about those died in the 56 revolution; "The background, the events and the aftermath of the Revolution"; "Studies and a chronology".
October 7. On his visit to West Germany Károly Grósz agrees with the German party that the Deutsche Bank - under the act of honor by the German government - gives a loan of 1 billion DM to the Hungarian National Bank.
October 9. Miklós Vásárhelyi is congratulated on the occasion of his 70th birthday by his friends, also in remembrance of his companions Miklós Losonczy, Pál Maléter and József Szilágyi, who were born in the same year.
János Kádár travels to China. On November 13 he meets with Deng Hsiao Ping, president of the advisory committee of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
György Lázár receives Gheorghe Oprea, first deputy prime minister of Rumania.
October 15. Lead by professor Tamás Sárközy a new Parliamentary Secretariat of the Council of Ministers is formed. The task of this new body is to inform the members of the House of the decisions made by the Council of Ministers and to coordinate the report to be submitted to the various committees of the House.
October 16. Secretary general of UN, Perez de Cuellar recieves the Hungarian secretary of church affairs, Imre Miklós.
October 20. After a visit to the United States in the summer Sándor Rácz recieves a letter from Ronald Reagan in which the US president recognizes his endeavors to work for the future of a unified Europe.
October 21. The National Peace Council holds a press conference. Here it is announced that there is no nuclear or biological weaponry in Hungarian land.
A new parliamentary committee is formed to supervise the implementation of the tax laws. Its chairman is Rezső Nyers.
October 22. The Council of Ministers discusses issues related to the modification of the social security Bill, the planned statute regulating bonds and the introduction of treasuries.
October 23. There is a small demonstration taking place in Budapest. The demonstrators symbolically pronounce the Batthyány sanctuary lamp to be the Batthyány-Imre Nagy lamp. In the garden of the Technical university János Dénes, György Gadó and Imre Mécs give a speech. In the evening the Inconnu group held a commemoration at Tibor Philipp's home where several people talk, including Elek Nagy, Tibor Pákh, János Dénes, Sándor Rácz, Aliz Halda, Tamás Mikes and Imre Mécs.
October 25. The Organizations of Hungarian Freedom Fighters inaugurate a memorial in a park of the city of Passaic in the US. The memorial was made by sculptor Csaba Kur.
October 28. János Kádár receives the Chancellor of the French Central Bank.
October 30. A Hungarian state and party delegation travels to the Soviet Union. János Kádár is awarded the Medal for the October Revolution. He speaks at the festive meeting commemorating the 70th anniversary and meets with Mikhail Gorbachev.
November 5. The Council of Ministers makes a decision to introduce a two-level administrative system, and to take a census of population in 1990. Rezső Bányász, government spokesman acknowledges that the rise in consumer prices is higher than expected.
November 8. Ferenc Donáth's tomb is inaugurated in the Farkasrét cemetery in the presence of a large number of people. In his speech Miklós Vásárhelyi takes a vow to fight for the political and moral rehabilitation on his companions, the martyrs and the victims of the revolution "using every legal means possible".
November 9. Hungarian economic days are held in three cities of the United States.
November 10. In view of protecting the environment any construction work is partially banned in the Danube bend.
November 11. The CC of HSWP discusses international issues as well as "the state of ideological activities".
The Hungarian forint is devalued by 5% with respect to convertible currencies.
November 12. The Financial Research Company Ltd. is established, its manager is Márton Tardos.
November 13. According to the statement made by the leadership of the National Council of Trade Unions any measure to implement the stabilization program which affects the living standards of people should be considered vary carefully.
November 15. In Brasov 20 thousand workers and students protest against the regime. The police can control the demonstration only by force with the help of the army, at the cost of leaving dead victims behind.
János Kádár conducts negotiations in Belgium with political and economic leaders, and also meets with representatives of the Common Market.
November 17. The statutory meeting of the Hungarian Industrial Development Bank Ltd. is held.
November 18. József Marjai, deputy Prime Minister negotiates in the US with government officials, representatives of the Congress, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
November 23. The new consumer prices valid as of January 1 next year are made public. Roughly 80% of consumer goods will have a new price.
November 27. The Presidential Council approves of the proposal stating that as of January 1 Hungarian citizens - in principle - may travel to any country in the world with their valid passport without any restriction.
December 1. The Hungarian Catholic Episcopacy and the Ecumenical Council of Hungarian Churches hold their first official joint meeting.
December 2. In Budapest Woichiek Jaruzelski and János Kádár sign a complex program specifying the relations of the two countries up until the year 2000.
Károly Grósz visits Borsod county.
December 3. The Council of Ministers discusses the 1988 national economic plan and the budget plan.
December 8. The state of the national economy is discussed at the meeting of the CC of HSWP, and an optimistic communiqué is released concerning the fulfillment of the economic plan.
December 10. The National Tourist Council announces at its meeting that next year one billion forints from government funds will be spent on the development of tourism.
December 14. A peace seminar under the title "Towards the theology of peace" is held in Budapest attended by participants from 40 different countries.
December 15. The Hungarian Stock Exchange Foundation is established.
December 16-17. The Parliament decides to restructure the ministries, and changes are also made in the Council of Ministers. New ministries are established; namely, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Management of Water-supplies and the Ministry of Social and Health Affairs. István Horváth comes to head the Ministry of the Interior again. Frigyes Berecz is appointed minister of industry, Judit Csehák minister of social and health affairs, József Marjai, then deputy Prime Minister, minister of trade, László Maróthy minister of environmental protection and management of water-supplies, and Miklós Villányi minister of finance. Péter Medgyessy is appointed deputy Prime Minister.
December 17. The Parliament passes the law on the 1988 budget and the act regulating codification.
December 21. The Council of Ministers discusses measures to improve the financial and moral recognition of intellectuals working in the field of technology and of those taking their first job.
The castle area in Buda and Hollókő are put on the UN list of world heritage.
December 23. The statutory decree regulating traveling abroad and issuing a passport valid for the whole world is promulgated.
December 25. The midnight Christmas mass held in Mathias church is broadcast in Hungarian television for the first time.
December 26. The 1988 national economic plan is made public. The Council of Ministers issues a statement to inform the people about the expected rate of consumer prices for the new year, the central price measures affected by the tax reform and the increase in social allowances.
December 30. The list of consumer prices valid as of January 1 are published.
The Presidential Council modifies the decree regulating private trading and economic associations. As of January 1 private entities are entitled to form limited liability companies jointly with legal entities.
December 31. Béla Köpeczi, minister of culture says that the restrictive measures against the Association of Writers become void.