Opinion: March 15 Holiday in Shadow of Ukraine War / National Election

  • 15 Mar 2022 8:08 AM
  • BudaPost
Opinion: March 15 Holiday in Shadow of Ukraine War / National Election
A conservative and a left-wing commentator reflect on Hungary’s 1848 revolution and war of independence in the light of the Ukraine war.

In Magyar Nemzet, Ádám Petri-Lukács writes that Hungarians should be concerned with national sovereignty and security first, rather than with world freedom. He admits that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a barbaric act and welcomes Hungarian efforts to help refugees fleeing the war.

He thinks, however, that symbolic ‘ritual performances’ are empty stunts that do not provide food and shelter for those in need. The main lesson Petri-Lukács draws from both the Ukraine war and the 1848 Hungarian revolution is that security and peace can be achieved on a national level rather than on a global one.

He also considers, however, that Hungary’s NATO membership and ‘its unwavering commitment to the North Atlantic alliance’ is a strong guarantee of Hungary’s security.

Népszava’s Róbert Friss suggests that the government’s ‘strategic calm’ (an expression used by PM Orbán in the early days of the war) is a betrayal of the ideal of a free nation advocated by the 1848 Hungarian revolutionaries.

The left-wing columnist sees the war in Ukraine as a clash between Western democracy and the ‘Byzantine East’. Friss thinks that what he sees as the Orbán government’s balancing act will further isolate Hungary in the West. He concludes by accusing the government of exchanging the nation’s strategic interest for cheap gas.

March 15 Celebrations as Political Campaign Events

A pro-government and a left-wing columnist comment on the 15 March celebrations. Both express confidence in the victory of their own camp in the coming election.

Magyar Nemzet's László Szentesi Zöldi comments on the pro-government ‘Peace Walk’ on March 15. He contends that the April election is a ‘matter of national death and life’. Following the heritage of the 1848 revolution, supporters of the Orbán government are showing their strength and want to defend their country from ‘the cruel and dilettante’ opposition who would ‘make Hungarians slaves in their own homeland’, the pro-government commentator believes.

Népszava’s Miklós Hargitai finds it reassuring that opposition leaders focused on the Ukraine war in their March 15 speeches.

The left-wing columnist thinks that the Ukraine war IS completely rewriting political realities in Hungary, and presenting the opposition with a chance to defeat Fidesz, which, according to Hargitai,, would have been very unlikely without the Russian offensive.

Hargitai is confident that the current crisis is helping the opposition claim that the government’s ‘Eastern opening’ and energy politics make Hungary defenceless against Russia.

This opinion does not necessarily represent the views of XpatLoop.com or the publisher.

Your opinions are welcome too - for editorial review before possible publication online. 
Click here to Share Your Story

 MTI Photo: Tibor Illyés

Related links

PM Orbán to Speak in Public at Budapest's Parliament Square on March 15 - Hungary’s National Holiday Will Include Concerts & Free Exhibitions

Xpat Explainer: 15 March Commemoration of 1848 Hungarian Revolution

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner


Launched in May 2011 to provide a balanced picture of matters covered in Hungary’s national press. Their aim is to make it easier for English-speakers to understand where this country is now and where it’s heading according to the full spectrum of media opinions.

Explore More Reports