Rezső Nyers

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Rezső Nyers
Nyers Rezső 1970.jpg
Rezső Nyers in 1970
President of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party
In office
26 June 1989 – 7 October 1989
Preceded by János Kádár (as President)
Károly Grósz (as General Secretary)
Succeeded by Himself
(as President of the Hungarian Socialist Party)
Minister of Finance
In office
5 January 1960 – 27 November 1962
Preceded by István Antos
Succeeded by Mátyás Tímár
Personal details
Born (1923-03-21) March 21, 1923 (age 93)
Budapest, Hungary
Political party SZDP (1940–48)
MDP (1948–56)
MSZMP (1956–89)
MSZP (1989–present)
Children Rezső Nyers
Profession Politician; economist
The native form of this personal name is Nyers Rezső. This article uses the Western name order.

Rezső Nyers [ˈrɛʒøː ɲɛrʃ] (born 21 March 1923) is a former Hungarian politician who served as Minister of Finance of Hungary from 1960 to 1962. For a few months in 1989, he was the country's last Communist leader.

Political career[edit]

Until 1944 he worked as a printer. He joined the Social Democratic Party in 1940. After the unification of the SZDP and the MDP he served as substitute member of the party's Central Leadership. He became representative of the National Assembly of Hungary in 1948 (until 1953). He was appointed head of a department of the Ministry of Domestic Commerce. In this same year he started his studies at the Karl Marx University of Economic Sciences, beside this he was a student at the Kossuth Academy from 1954.

In 1954 he was elected member of the Central Leadership. During the András Hegedüs cabinet he served as Minister of Food Industry for a short time. He was member of the MSZMP's Central Committee from 1957 to 1989 and of the National Assembly from 1958 to 1989. After the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Nyers also voted in favour of the death sentence for Imre Nagy. In 1968, Nyers drew up the contemporary economic reform package, the New Economic Mechanism, with Prime Minister Jenő Fock. After the failure of the reforms (because of the orthodox Marxists' strengthening), he largely went into eclipse.

Nyers was appointed to the directorial post of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences' Economical Institute in 1974. As a result he resigned from all of his political positions (excluding the MSZMP Central Committee). He became chairman of the Közgazdasági Szemle's Editorial Committee in 1976. During the late 1980s, as reform elements gained more ground in the party, Nyers returned to prominence as part of a younger leadership. He served as chairman of the National Assembly's Reform Committee from 1987. In 1987 he became a member of the government as Minister of State. By this time, he had become one of the leaders of the MSZMP's radical reform wing, who favoured establishing a full-fledged market economy. The inclusion of Nyers, the architect of the NEM, gave the reformers a large measure of credibility

In the summer of 1988, Secretary-General Károly Grósz announced that he intended to resign from his position of Prime Minister to concentrate entirely on the party organization. Unlike the previous practice, he nominated four candidates, including Nyers, to the position to consult with county party committees, trade unions and the Patriotic People’s Front. As Grósz was aware of the disastrous economic situation and impending insolvency, Miklós Németh, who had established his reputation with his economic expertise, was also included. Finally the 66-year-old Nyers withdrew from candidature in favour of Németh, who took the oath on 24 November 1988.[1]

On 26 June 1989, Nyers was elected as president of the MSZMP, chairing a four-member collective presidency that replaced the Politburo. Nyers was elected by about 78-80 percent of the 1,256 delegates to the party congress. In this position, Nyers now outranked Grósz—thus effectively making him the leader of Hungary. By this time, the MSZMP was no longer a Marxist-Leninist party. At its final congress on 7 October 1989, the MSZMP voted to disband and refound itself as the Hungarian Socialist Party, with Nyers as its first chairman. He was elected to parliament in the 1990 parliamentary election, in which the newly-minted Socialists were severely defeated, winning only 33 seats. Nyers stepped down as chairman shortly afterward, succeeded by Gyula Horn. He remained in parliament until his retirement from politics in 1998.

Later life[edit]

In 2011 the issue of the former communist leaders and senior officials' high state pensions were highlighted. His name appeared on Heti Válasz's list, as well as the names of Béla Biszku or György Lázár.[2][3] Finally, the Metropolitan Administration and Labour Court withdrew his pension supplement in December 2013.[4]

In November 2014, Jobbik MP Előd Novák filed a report against Nyers of accusation of incitement to murder, unlawful detention and abetting. According to Novák, Nyers, as a member of the MSZMP's Central Committee, played an important role in the executions of Imre Nagy and other politicians following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[5] On 31 December 2014, the Metropolitan Prosecutor's Office refused the accusation in the absence of a crime.[6]

Personal life[edit]

A widower, Nyers' wife died in 1988. Nyers has one child, Rezső Nyers Jr., who served as managing director of the Hungarian National Bank.

Publications[edit]

  • Szövetkezetek a magyar népi demokráciában (1959)
  • A műszaki fejlesztés szerepe gazdaságpolitikánkban (1964)
  • Gazdaságpolitikánk és a gazdasági mechanizmus reformja (1968)
  • 25 kérdés és válasz gazdaságpolitikai kérdésekről (1969)
  • A szocialista gazdasági integráció elvi és gyakorlati kérdései (1969)
  • A jövedelmezőség és a jövedelemelosztás problémái hazánkban (1970)
  • Szövetkezetpolitikánk kérdései (1970)
  • Népgazdaságunk a szocializmus építésének útján (1970)
  • Útkeresés – reformok (1988)
  • Beszélgetések (with Tibor Huszár, 2004)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oplatka, András (2014). Németh Miklós - Mert ez az ország érdeke (in Hungarian). Helikon Kiadó. p. 22. ISBN 9789632276274. 
  2. ^ "K-vonalon – Elképesztő a lista: arcátlanul magas nyugdíjakat osztanak". Heti Válasz. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  3. ^ "Nincs egyedül Biszku Béla, a kommunizmus építője". Origo.hu. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  4. ^ "Nem kap nyugdíjpótlékot Nyers Rezső". Origo.hu. 2013-12-03. 
  5. ^ "A Jobbik alelnöke feljelentette Nyers Rezsőt". Index.hu. 2014-11-04. 
  6. ^ "Hiába jelentették fel Nyers Rezsőt". Index.hu. 2014-12-31. 

Sources[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Iván Altomáré
Minister of Food Industry
1956
Succeeded by
Imre Kovács
Preceded by
István Antos
Minister of Finance
1960–1962
Succeeded by
Mátyás Tímár
Party political offices
Preceded by
János Kádár
President of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party
1989
Succeeded by
Party abolished
Preceded by
New party
Chairman of the Hungarian Socialist Party
1989–1990
Succeeded by
Gyula Horn