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hvg - Hungary | Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gyula Horn, the neoliberal communist

Gyula Horn, one of the symbolic figures of the opening of the Iron Curtain and Hungarian prime minister from 1994 to 1998, died on Wednesday aged 80. The philosopher Miklós Gáspár Tamás writes in the left-liberal weekly paper Heti Világgazdaság that Horn could never really get used to the democratic system: "Horn united incredible paradoxes. To a certain extent he remained an old-fashioned 'communist' his entire life, for whom the post of department head of the Central Committee in the People's Republic of Hungary was a greater honour than the office of prime minister in the Hungarian Republic. ... Even if he accomplished much after the fall of communism as a privatiser, an initiator of neo-liberal consolidation packages and a trailblazer for our membership in Nato and the EU, he never really changed deep down. ... The proletarians - for as long as there were any - liked him, because they knew that he was one of them."

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