Miklós Németh

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Miklós Németh
11th Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People's Republic of Hungary
In office
24 November 1988 – 23 October 1989
PresidentBrunó Ferenc Straub
DeputyPéter Medgyessy
Preceded byKároly Grósz
Succeeded byHimself
as Provisional Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Hungary
In office
23 October 1989 – 23 May 1990
PresidentMátyás Szűrös (provisional)
DeputyPéter Medgyessy
Preceded byHimself
as Chairman of the Council of Ministers
Succeeded byJózsef Antall
Member of the National Assembly
In office
5 October 1988 – 22 April 1991
Personal details
Born (1948-01-24) January 24, 1948 (age 76)
Monok, Hungary
Political partyMSZMP (1976–1989)
MSZP (1989–1990)
Independent (since 1990)
Spouse(s)Erzsébet Szilágyi
Professioneconomist, academic professor

Miklós Németh (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈmikloːʃ ˈneːmɛt], born 24 January 1948) is a Hungarian politician who served as the Prime Minister of Hungary from 1988 to 1990. He is known for his role in bringing down the Iron Curtain and dismantling the Communist regime in Hungary.

Németh was born on January 24, 1948, in Monok, Hungary. He studied economics at the Karl Marx University of Economics in Budapest and later earned a doctorate in economics from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1971, he began working for the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (MSZMP), the ruling Communist party in Hungary at the time.

In 1987, Németh was appointed as Minister of State in charge of economic affairs. As the Hungarian economy struggled under Communist rule, Németh sought to introduce reforms that would open up the economy to market forces and increase private enterprise. He believed that a market-oriented approach was necessary to modernize the economy and improve the standard of living for Hungarians.

In 1988, Németh became the Prime Minister of Hungary. He continued his efforts to reform the economy and pursued a policy of openness towards the West. He lifted restrictions on travel and allowed Hungarian citizens to travel freely to the West. He also initiated talks with the neighboring countries of Austria and Czechoslovakia, which ultimately led to the dismantling of the Iron Curtain.

One of Németh's most significant achievements was his role in opening the border between Hungary and Austria in 1989. This move allowed thousands of East Germans who were vacationing in Hungary to escape to the West. The event marked a turning point in the collapse of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe.

Németh's reforms also led to significant changes within Hungary. He introduced a multi-party system, and the first free elections in Hungary were held in 1990. The Hungarian Democratic Forum, a center-right party, won the elections, and Németh stepped down as Prime Minister.

After leaving politics, Németh continued to work in academia and served as the president of the Corvinus University of Budapest from 1997 to 2000. He also remained active in politics and was elected to the Hungarian Parliament in 2002.

In recognition of his role in the collapse of the Communist regime, Németh was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in 2008.

Today, Németh is widely regarded as a hero of the democratic movement in Hungary and a symbol of the country's transition to democracy. His efforts to bring down the Iron Curtain and open up the economy have had a lasting impact on Hungary and the wider world.

Early life[change | change source]

Miklós Németh was born on January 24, 1948, in Monok, Hungary. He grew up in a family of farmers and received his higher education at the Budapest University of Economics. Németh went on to become a prominent figure in Hungarian politics, serving as the last Communist Prime Minister of Hungary before the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Early career[change | change source]

After completing his studies, Miklós Németh worked as an economist and researcher at various institutions in Hungary. He later became involved in politics, serving as a member of the Hungarian Parliament and as a government minister.

Prime Minister of Hungary[change | change source]

Miklós Németh served as the Prime Minister of Hungary from 1988 to 1990, during a pivotal period in the country's history. He was appointed to the position during the last years of communist rule in Hungary, but quickly became a key figure in the country's transition to a democratic government. Németh is credited with playing a crucial role in dismantling the Iron Curtain and opening the country's borders with Austria in 1989. His reforms also included significant economic liberalization, which helped Hungary transition to a market-based economy.

After premiership[change | change source]

After leaving office as Prime Minister of Hungary in 1990, Miklós Németh continued to be involved in Hungarian politics. He served as a member of parliament until 1998, when he resigned to become a professor of international studies at the Budapest University of Economics. Németh was also involved in various international organizations, including the Club of Madrid and the European Council on Foreign Relations. In 2010, he published a book entitled "A Chance for Peace," which documented his role in the fall of the Iron Curtain and the transition to democracy in Hungary. Németh remains an influential figure in Hungarian politics and is widely recognized for his contributions to the country's democratic transition.

References[change | change source]