It should be made clear on St. Stephen’s Day that Hungary belongs in Europe and that is where it will stay, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said on Facebook on Friday, marking Hungary’s August 20 national holiday.
“Last year at this time we were starting to process the anxiety, hardship and pain of the months we had left behind and we thought that the most difficult days would soon be behind us and our lives would get back to normal,” Karácsony wrote.
“Back then we did not know that we would be facing a period that would be even more difficult than the one we had left behind,” he said. “The losses of our loved ones, the economic crisis that changed the lives of hundreds of thousands and the clouds of inhumanity and division gathering over our heads brought about the need for change.”
“King St. Stephen’s legacy made it possible for us to say in Hungarian. that the foundation of a new state, the reestablishment of the state is necessary,” Karácsony said.
The purpose of the functioning of the Hungarian state has to be the creation of a more humane and a fairer country “which can only start from within us”, the mayor said.
“The rule of the overbearing few has split this country in two, but the state cannot be built on hate, stigmatization and civil war rhetoric, only cooperation and compassion,” Karácsony said.
He said the state today was “creating scapegoats” instead of offering solutions and pitting one half of the country against the other.
Karácsony said a new state needed to be founded that would guarantee legal certainty, public safety and the opportunity for people to live dignified lives.
The mayor said the concept of a European Hungary was in danger, insisting that there was a threat “fueled by petty power plays” that Hungary could pull out of the European Union.
“Life outside Europe is one that no one can want for their children, he said.
Featured photo illustration via Gergely Karácsony’s Facebook page