After the uprising, the situation in Hungary was slowly normalising. Further amnesties were
announced, and some hard-line communists were removed. The year 1961 was a
breakthrough and marked the beginning of the period of liberalisation. This year, old
apparatchiks such as Gerő and Rákosy were removed from the party, and there was a change
in the position of prime minister, which was again Kádár.
Aware of the poor economic situation, elements of a market economy were introduced in
1968. It is notable, however, that despite Kádár's initial opposition, Hungary took part in the
intervention of the Warsaw Pact, suppressing the Prague Spring in 1968.
Brezhnev did not like the path taken by Kádár, which resulted in the centralisation of industry
and agriculture and, as a result, in a reduction in the quality of life of the population.
However, relations with the Church were improved, and Kádár visited among others, the
Vatican in 1978. In the same year, Hungary was returned an invaluable national relic, the
Crown of St. Stefan, which had been kept in the USA since 1945.
Hungary, which was in an increasingly difficult economic situation, became a member of the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in 1982. They hoped for an improvement in
the economic situation. But first, it was necessary to introduce reforms, which were reflected,
among other things, in significant price increases. The actions of the new Prime Minister
Károl Grósz, appointed by Kádár in 1987, who started economic reforms, were continued by
his successor Miklós Németh and killed the Hungarian economy.
Kádár was increasingly losing popularity, insisting on his path to socialism.
The party, too, was losing more and more members. On 3 May 1988 Kádár resigned as
Secretary-General. New party authorities were elected, most of them consisting of junior
communists. Károl Grósz became the secretary.