1848 has become a “moral compass” for the Hungarian nation, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told a commemoration of the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight on Wednesday. He called March 15 an “indisputable proof” of the Hungarian nation’s past, present and future. “We, living in the Carpathian Basin, the buffer zone of cultures, empires and civilisations, can be proud of the greatest triumph of all, winning all wars for the survival of our homeland, our nation,” he said.
During the Prime Minister’s speech, however, opposition demonstrators blew whistles in protest and shouted “Viktator” and “Orbán, get lost!”. Many from the crowd attending the state celebration shouted back “Traitors!”. Meanwhile Orbán said that “it is one that shows who is “loyal, patriotic, dedicated and brave” on the one hand, and exposes “pettiness, perfidy and efforts to kill dreams and destroy the nation” on the other. “But what should we do with those who want unrest and division rather than peace and unity … whose only pleasure lies in spoiling the holiday of others?” he asked, referring to a group whistling during his speech. “It would be easy to mock them but we should not do that,” he said adding that Hungarians should “stand their ground on the horizon of building the nation rather than in the skirmishes of petty parties.” “From the horizon of the Hungarian nation, one can choose the road that leads us to the wide gate of greatness or the one that leads to the swamp of hatred,” he said.
Referring to today’s international politics, the Hungarian Premier said Brussels must be “halted” and government control shall be kept “in the hands of national forces”. In his view, European nations are in a “state of revolt”, with the “winds of 1848 blowing again on the continent”. Over the past year European nations once again revolted against “the hypocritical alliance of the Brussels bureaucrats, the liberal international media and insatiable global capital,” Orbán said. First the British, then the Americans rebelled, and are to be followed by others this year, he added. Orbán stressed the need for Brussels to take off the “masks of hypocrisy”, and opt for an open discussion. Viktor Orbán said that the resettlement of illegal migrants must be prevented, the network financed from foreign funds made transparent, and the right to regulate taxes, wages and utility prices kept a matter of national policy.
Budapest Mayor: Hungary still fights hard
Budapest Mayor István Tarlós also spoke to the public at the state celebration in the garden of the National Museum in Budapest, insisting that Hungarians still have to fight hard for their goals and dreams.
Speaking about the message of the 1848-49 revolution and war of independence, Tarlós said “we, Hungarians still have to stand up for ourselves rather than let others express our nation’s interests for us”. “In these historic times, we must find Hungary’s due place amid perhaps the biggest transformation of the world order since World War Two, amid the storms of the modern migration, its place as a committed protector of European and Christian values,” Tarlós said.
State orders, prizes handed out to the worthy recipients
As part of the state celebration, President János Áder presented Hungary’s state orders as well as the prestigious Kossuth and Széchenyi prizes to recognise public personalities, artists and scientists on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1848 revolution in Parliament. In his address to the awardees, the president highlighted their achievements, which he said could “motivate many to come up with better results”. The ceremony was attended by House Speaker László Kövér and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
President Áder awarded the Order of Hungary, Grand Cross, to ship builder and navigator Nándor Fa and former Constitutional Court head Barnabás Lenkovics. The Middle Cross of the Order was awarded to neuroendocrinologist Béla Halász, retired state secretary András Jávor, microbiologist István Nász, and economics professor Ferenc Vissi, literary historian János Gáspár Gróh, art historian Tamás Kieselbach, psychology professor Pál Rókusfalvy, Reformed pastor Dániel Szabó, former Hungarian ambassador Pál Varga Koritár, and philosophy historian Miklós Vető. Áder recognised ethnographer Zoltán Kallós with the Kossuth Grand Prize. This year’s Kossuth Prize awardees include author Éva Fésűs, rock musician Károly Frenreisz, photographer Éva Keleti, opera singer Sylvia Sass, and actor László Tahi-Tóth. The Széchenyi Prize was awarded to Reformed Bishop István Bogárdi Szabó, astrophysicist Zsolt Frei, mathematician András Némethi, music historian Tibor Tallián, historian László Tőkéczki, among others.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI; photos: Tamás Kovács and Szilárd Koszticsák – MTI