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Oct 24, 2016

PM Orbán: Hungary is very much a part of Europe

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán led the 1956 Revolution commemorations with a rousing speech in Kossuth Square on Sunday

Hungary celebrated a whole host of memorial events for the 1956 Revolution this weekend.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán led the commemorations with a rousing speech in Kossuth Square on Sunday where he declared that the European Union must not be turned into a “modern-age empire”; the community must not be replaced by a “United States of Europe”. 

PM Orbán said that the “freedom-loving people of Europe must save Brussels from Sovietisation”. “We, Hungarians, want to remain a European nation, rather than become an ethnic minority in Europe".

“It is only our national independence that can save us from being devoured by an empire,” PM Orbán said, and argued that it was that very “national idea” that had saved Hungary from being integrated into the Soviet Union.

As descendants of 1956, Hungarians “cannot let Europe cut the roots that had once made it great and also helped us survive communist oppression,” Orbán said. He added that Europe could not be “free, strong, and respectable without the revitalising power of nations and two thousand years of Christian wisdom”.

The prime minister insisted that Hungary had chosen “the hard way” when it “preferred children of its own to immigrants, work to speculation, earning a living to becoming a slave of indebtedness, and protecting borders to surrendering”.

Hungarians will always fight for freedom and will achieve it “even in the most hopeless of situations,” he said.

“We, Hungarians, have a talent for freedom, we have always known how to use it. He warned that freedom is “not a final state but a way of existence; just like swimming: you stop doing it and you will sink”.

"The question is always a simple one as to whether we decide on our own fate or other people,” he said. "October 23 is a day on which Hungarians should be proud," the prime minister added.

Even after 60 years, October 23 is still a day that “lifts up and cleanses us”, Orbán said, calling the national holiday a “shared heritage” of the Hungarian people.

He said Hungarians can be thankful to the heroes of 1956 that they had much to be proud of even in “the darkest years of Hungary’s history”. History puts Hungary in the mainstream of disputes on the future of Europe every 30 years, the prime minister said.

He argued that in 1956 Hungary attempted to “shift the Iron Curtain east of our borders”, then in 1989 the country opened its western borders “so that Germans could find a way to Germans”. And most recently, Hungary “had to close its borders to stop the influx of migrants from the south”, he said. Hungary will not falter “even if those whom we are trying to protect attack us from behind”; we have “the courage to face injustice… and Europe can always rely on us,” Orbán said.