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Paris Terror Attacks: Hungary Observes Day Of National Mourning In Remembrance Of Victims

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2015.11.16.

Hungary observed a day of mourning on Sunday, with the country’s national flag drawn to half-mast in remembrance of the victims of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, France.

The remembrance ceremony began at 9 am on Sunday in the presence of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Minister of Defence István Simicskó, cabinet office chief Antal Rogán, Minister of Justice László Trócsányi and the French Ambassador to Budapest, Eric Fournier.

State and party leaders express condolences 

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán expressed condolences to the relatives of the victims of the deadly attacks, and solidarity with the French people. He laid a flower and lit a candle in front of the French Institute of Budapest in honour of those who were killed. “The Hungarian people are standing by the French in these tragic hours,” the Prime Minister said. The Hungarian authorities introduced a heightened security regime after the Friday attacks. The government’s operative staff ordered that controls should be reinforced at airports, border checkpoints, railway stations, traffic junctions, prisons and Hungary’s only nuclear power plant at Paks. György Bakondi, the Prime Minister’s chief internal security advisor, said there would be more police patrols in the streets and officers would be better armed than usual. Next week, the government will discuss plans to introduce a new set of security measures related to terror alerts, he said. The defence ministry said that the protection of troops stationed along Hungary’s southern border had been reinforced.


Several Hungarian state leaders also expressed their condolences and condemned the acts of violence, which have claimed 129 lives in the French capital to date. The Hungarian people firmly condemns terrorism and despises all fanatics obsessed with violence, President János Áder said in a telegram of condolences sent to his French counterpart François Hollande. “In spirit we are with François Hollande and the friendly French people, which can continue to count on Hungary’s commitment and support in its fight against senseless and barbarous terror,” he said. Parliamentary Speaker László Kövér also condemned the “heinous” attacks and expressed condolences to Senate President Gérard Larcher and National Assembly President Claude Bartolone. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó sent a telegram of condolences to his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.

Friday’s terror attacks have also been strongly condemned by Hungarian political parties from across the political spectrum. The grief and fear of Paris are shared by all Europeans today, the governing centre-right Fidesz party said, adding that the terror and the mass murders must not be left without consequences. The co-ruling Christian Democrats said the bloody events clearly demonstrated the need of joint European action against terrorism. The opposition left-wing Socialist Party said decision-makers must take immediate action regardless of their political and religious views to “stop the fanatics, the mad murderers”. The Paris terror attacks are no longer France’s problem, head of the green opposition LMP party András Schiffer said, adding that a deeper European Union cooperation is necessary in the areas of internal security and anti-terrorist cooperation. The left-liberal Együtt party said not only Paris and the French people, but the whole of Europe has been attacked. “We trust that the killers’ identity and motivation will soon be established and the international community will be able to give an appropriate response,” it said. “Neither Islamic State nor any other terrorist organisation can discourage us from believing in peace and providing assistance to each other,” PM, a minor left-green party, said. “It is almost impossible not to respond with hatred to hatred, but we should still try to remain humans,” former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, head of the left-wing opposition Democratic Coalition, said. He added that “November 13, 2015 will be Europe’s September 11, 2001; almost everything will change.” The small Hungarian Liberal Party said the Paris terrorists have attacked everyone who believes in freedom, democracy and the values of humanism.


Jobbik: Effective response must be given to terror attacks

Europe and Hungary should give an efficient response to the Paris attacks because their failure to do so would trigger even more horrendous tragedies, Gábor Vona, leader of the radical nationalist Jobbik, said. In a statement published “to provoke constructive social debate”, Mr. Vona said that there existed a link between terrorism and migration and that immigration increased the terror threat. Hungary should not accept any migrants relocated under the European Union’s planned quota regime or expelled from western Europe, he said. “Although immigrants are not terrorists … they become frustrated after realising that life is not a bed of roses in Europe either and the terrorist cells may easily find new recruits among them.” Instead of collecting signatures against the EU’s mandatory quota system, there is a pressing need for amending the constitution to allow for a binding referendum on the issue, he said. Mr. Vona said the political forces that “have imposed or want to impose migrants on Europe” bear indirect responsibility for the Paris attacks, adding that the period of “promigrant policies” has become a thing of the past both in Europe and Hungary. The Jobbik leader said the eastern European nations should intensify cooperation in all walks of life “so as to be able to stand on their own feet and embark on their own road if the western nations fall into a lasting crisis”.

photos: Viktor Orbán/Facebook