Hungary’s Grosz to Resign as Premier but Keep Party Position

Associated Press

Communist Party leader Karoly Grosz said in an interview published Friday that he will resign as premier next month. He will retain the more important job as secretary general of the party.

Grosz, 57, who has held the premier’s post for 16 months, has repeatedly said he wants to focus on party affairs and that the two functions--premier and party leader--are too much for one person.

Grosz took over in May as secretary general of the Communist Party, which sets policy in Hungary.

In an interview with the government daily newspaper Magyar Hirlap, Grosz said he will ask the Communist Party’s Central Committee to relieve him of his duties as premier. The resignation is expected to be approved by Parliament on Nov. 24.


Grosz said five people have emerged as possible successors, but he did not identify them.

According to unconfirmed reports, one person high on the list is Miklos Nemeth, a Politburo member and a party secretary.

Grosz said he felt “highly dissatisfied” with his performance as premier but added that he is confident of a “dynamic progress” in the government’s program of economic reforms.

Under an austerity package passed last year, Hungarians are suffering under the burden of an 18% inflation rate and $18-billion foreign debt.


Hungary, however, has the Soviet Bloc’s most free-market oriented economy.