Hungary’s divisions must be healed and a gentle revolution is needed, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said in a video message marking the March 15 national holiday on Facebook on Monday.
“To do this, we need to close the chapter on the past thirty, including the last ten years,” the mayor said.
Hungary has become two separate countries because it has been systematically torn into two, Karácsony said. “We can see, hear and feel it on our skin.”
This was done using the old method: “divide and conquer, incite half the people against the other half, for it is always easier to find enemies than solutions,” he said.
“If we allow them to continue inciting us against each other … if we do not join our strengths but keep dividing it, we will end up getting weaker and weaker,” Karácsony added.
Today, the main common wish of the public is to put an end to this extreme division, the mayor said.
Perhaps it is also a public wish to follow the guidance of the great figures of 1848, who knew that national sovereignty and social progress did not mutually exclude, but mutually reinforce each other, he said.
“We have to start from here, too,” the mayor said. “There cannot be two countries in Hungary. Not the countryside or Budapest. Only the countryside and Budapest. Not Fidesz Hungary or opposition Hungary. Only a country that we all share.”
Hungary must be reunited. The two banks must be connected, as the Chain Bridge connects Pest with Buda. The pandemic and the crisis have taught Hungarians the same lesson: there is no other way. We can only overcome this if we work together. If we are capable of compassion.”
Karácsony said politics must change and the change required a revolution. “Not the violent kind, but a gentle revolution.”
The new chapter written by the gentle revolution should be about the 99 percent, not the privileged 1 percent, he said.
Karácsony cited the story of the Chain Bridge as one example of what the gentle revolution should be about.
The story of the Chain Bridge tells us that there was a time when the will of the public mattered in Hungary and it so happened that private funds were used to accomplish a public goal. “Not like today when public funds are converted into private assets.”
“We must focus on what connects us, not what separates us,” Karácsony said. “The bridges, and not the ditches. This is the will of the public today.”
“Because only by working together can we defeat the coronavirus, but also the reign of the privileged few who behave like crowned rulers … and courtiers above the law,” the mayor said. “We want to have our lives back without social distancing, and finally a public life that does not try to deepen the distances between us but to serve the new normality based on cooperation and compassion.”
Featured photo via Gergely Karácsony’s Facebook page