1956 Anniversary Marked by Opposition Parties in Hungary

  • 24 Oct 2023 4:37 PM
  • Hungary Matters
1956 Anniversary Marked by Opposition Parties in Hungary
Hungarian opposition parties marked the anniversary of the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising.

Ferenc Gyurcsány, the leader of the opposition Democratic Coalition, said at an event recorded earlier in Budapest: “October 23rd has ceased to be a joint celebration of the nation.”

He said government officials and “we who preserve the [real] celebration” had marked the day in separate locations and in a different spirit.

Drawing a parallel between the present day and 1956, Gyurcsány insisted that the West had brought “the promise of a freer, more independent country”, while “Russia threatens the free peoples of Europe”. He said Hungarian powerholders “lied” by insisting the threat came from Brussels.

Márton Gyöngyössi, the leader of Jobbik-Conservatives, called his party “the spiritual heirs of the revolution”.

Speaking at the monument of 1956 martyr Péter Mansfeld in Budapest, Gyöngyössi noted that at the founding event Jobbik had received a Hungarian flag from revolutionary fighter Gergely Pongrátz. The party’s mission, Gyöngyössi said, remained “resistance against Communists and to topple this regime one day”.

“Today Budapest is ruled by a government that receives its orders from Moscow … and it has the same approach to young people as its Communist predecessors.”

Fidesz, he added, had imposed “closed borders, dwindling education, ridiculous wages and cheap Russian propaganda” on Hungarian youth.

László Toroczkai, the leader of opposition Mi Hazánk, said: “A global opening is needed” to take action against globalisation. Commemorating the 1956 uprising in Budapest, he said communism was shape-shifting and “stronger than ever”.

Internationalism, all about “destroying nations and enslaving peoples” was “even more potent”, he added. “This, like the international financial system, a parasite on the world, must be brushed away,” he said.

Toroczkai said the world was fast-changing and this entailed the “shocking loss of Hungarianness and the peoples of the northern civilisation”. But historical experiences had endowed Hungarians with the greatest wisdom in a crisis, he added.

He said the unipolar world dominated by the US “seems to be ending”. “We must do everything we can to prevent this process from leading to another world war; this would bring even greater destruction than the previous two.”

Gyurcsány: Salaries, Pensions Should Be High Enough to Make Decent Living

Salaries and pensions in Hungary should be high enough for people to make a decent living, Democratic Coalition (DK) leader Ferenc Gyurcsány said at an event marking the 12th anniversary of the founding of the party.

Everyone should be able to have at least three months’ worth of savings, and everyone should be able to afford at least a week of holiday each year, Gyurcsány said, calling DK an “adult, serious, influential, fair and honest party”.

DK wants a country that can be a good homeland for all, “because Hungary is a homeland to all: Christians, believers and even the non-religious”, he said. Amid the fierce competition now seen in many areas, he said, people appeared to be losing the common belief “that man is inherently good”.

DK envisions a world in which the good of humanity “is also there amid the debates and competition”, rather than one in which some believe that those who disagree with them “are bad, diabolical or animal-like”, he added.

The republic of Hungary should be a republic of the people, Gyurcsány said. “The state is not the boss; it’s something we create, and we’re the ones who determine, regulate and monitor how the state functions, rather than the other way round,” he added.

“DK believes that Hungary is our homeland and Europe is our home,” he said.

When DK speaks of a “united states of Europe”, it does not mean a loss of Hungarian statehood, but a form of regulated cooperation among several states, Gyurcsány added.

Socialists Call for Joint Action Against 'Authoritarian Regime'

Socialist co-leader Ágnes Kunhalmi has called for joint action against the “incumbent authoritarian rule” in Hungary, insisting that the country lacked “democratic conditions”.

Speaking at her party’s commemoration of the outbreak of the 1956 anti-Soviet revolt in Kaposvár, in south-western Hungary, Kunhalmi said “those who seek to play domestic democracy in a fundamentally anti-democratic environment fail to understand … the message of young people fighting for freedom, prosperity, and progress back then.”

The Socialist Party fights for “freedom for the country and its society, democratic rule of law, prosperity for the general public, and social security”, she said.

The Socialists consider Imre Nagy, prime minister in 1956, the leader of the failed revolution, and reject the government’s endeavours to “suppress, question, or even deny his political role”, Kunhalmi said.

The martyred prime minister “always stayed a leftist and his taking the responsibility and all risks clearly refute the government’s claims that 1956 was exclusively a Christian nationalist, right-wing revolution,” she insisted.

Related links

1956 Remembered: Hungarian is the Language of Freedom, Says President Novák

Brussels is a ‘Bad Contemporary Parody' of Moscow, Says Orbán

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