Comparing the scope and dynamics of the last reform movements with all previous approaches in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, a basic difference should be stressed: the support given by the Soviet leadership to the very idea of reform in other countries. By the end of the 1950s Poland’s Gomulka had thrown out the reforms promised in 1956. Khrushchev had been overthrown by Brezhnev. The reform wave started in 1981 with hesitant reform attempts in the smaller socialist countries - mainly in Poland. It gathered speed in 1987 two years after Gorbachev had entered upon his new office as secretary general in March 1985. There are some new features in present economic reform concepts, compared with all past reform approaches. Not only is a transition from direct to indirect control to be observed, but, going even further, from indirect control to real market regulation, at least in countries such as Hungary and Poland.