Controversial Anti-EU Speech by Orbán Marks Hungary’s March 15 National Holiday

  • 18 Mar 2024 5:46 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Controversial Anti-EU Speech by Orbán Marks Hungary’s March 15 National Holiday
“We cannot accept that Brussels has abandoned Europeans, moreover, turned against them,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a speech marking Hungary’s March 15 national holiday.

“We cannot tolerate their destroying our farmers, impoverishing the middle classes, driving European companies to bankruptcy, cribbing the rights of nations, making our children the slaves of their debts and tossing the whole of Europe into war.”

“Hungary can only benefit from peace and we do not want war,” he told commemorators in front of the National Museum.

“We in Budapest know what war is like … hundreds of thousands of dead, disabled, widows and orphans, destroyed bridges … tens of thousands of people that have lost everything … the life of a generation was destroyed in the latest war,” he insisted.

According to Orbán, “what Brussels has given Hungarians was war instead of peace, fuss around the rule of law instead of security, and financial blackmail instead of prosperity”.

“They have deceived us and it is time we revolted and restored the self-assurance and self-esteem of European people,” the prime minister said.

“Hungary is not alone, because though the Poles have been caught up in the torrent of Soros’s left, the Slovaks have risen, the Czechs are awakening, the Austrians are getting ready, the Italians are facing the right direction, the Dutch are ready to go and the Americans are in protest,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said, Europe, as well as the United States were “ahead of a sovereigntist turnaround”, which could “restore normal life and open a new, great epoch for Western nations, in which everybody could prosper … with the exception of those that breached their oath to serve their nation… that have worked in Brussels to take away funds from teachers … that would open the gates wide before migrants … and deliver our children into the hands of frenzied gender activists.”

Those that “sold themselves out by the kilo to gain power … will meet the fate of traitors,” Orbán added.

Concerning the events of 1848, Orbán said the Hungarian revolution was “constructive, rather than destructive, it did not deny but create, it was true and beautiful, and it was not concluded in death but yielded life.”

In March 1848 “Europe was engulfed in flames, there was blood in the streets of its capitals, and people were fighting on barricades in Vienna,” Orbán said.

Hungarians, however, were “writing poems, wording the 12 points [of the revolution], and marched over from Pest to Buda … we freed political prisoners without a gunshot, we went to the theatre to see a patriotic play … and won a victory by the evening … that’s what revolution is like when it is led by young Hungarians,” he said.

EP Vote 'To Decide Between War and Peace'

Voters in the European Parliament elections on June 9 will have to decide "between war and peace, between Brussels' leash and Hungarian freedom," the prime minister said in his speech marking the March 15 national holiday.

“If we want to retain Hungary’s freedom and sovereignty, we must occupy Brussels and bring change to the European Union,” Viktor Orbán told a crowd in front of the National Museum.

Since 1848, “the time always comes for every generation and each Hungarian youth when they must make a decision,” he said. One must make a decision “if you are on the side of truth or join the herd of globalist bleaters,” Orbán said.

“Brussels is not the first empire that had designs on Hungary, but in the past 500 years all such empires realised that oppression, bribery or violence … would not get them anywhere,” he said, referring to the Ottoman and Habsburg empires as well as the Soviet Union.

“We’re the David that Goliath had better avoid,” Orbán said. He also added, however, that “Hungary demonstrated through the Compromise [of 1867, with Austria] that if we are given respect, we will also give the respect that is due.”

“Brussels alone would not grasp that … but we will march up to Brussels and we ourselves will bring change to the European Union,” Orbán said.

Orbán: Hungarians Must Preserve What They Inherited from Ancestors

“Everything we have we received from our forebears, including the mission to preserve and pass it all on,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a speech marking Hungary’s March 15 national holiday, adding that “this is the essence of Hungarian freedom.”

He said that millions of people in the Western world went through life with the notion that “they come from nowhere and are going nowhere, therefore they believe it is not necessary to be considerate of anybody or anything”.

“They start wars and destroy worlds, they redraw country borders and devour everything like locusts,” Orbán said. “They neglect to respect the dead and they take away the rights of the unborn,” he added.

“We Hungarians live differently and want to continue living differently; we come from somewhere and are heading somewhere,” Orbán said.

“The meaning of freedom for Hungarians is that we are building a country with no landlord overseeing us”. “Nobody else in the world thinks it is important that something Hungarian should survive,” he added.

“We know that a Hungarian quality of existence is a unique and unmatched, high-level form of human life, and it is the greatest thing to be born a Hungarian,” he added.

“In the Western world, people believe they live as individuals and it is up to their free choice to decide which country’s citizens they should be and whether to be a boy or a girl,” he said.

“We Hungarians know that if you stand alone in the world, you are lonely, not free,” he added. The youth of March 15 proclaimed to the world that “we Hungarians are companions, not only in friendship and family, but we are also companions in the homeland”, he added.

“And we are also companions with those before us and after us,” he said. “The life of Hungarians forms a continuous chain, from Saint Stephen to King Mathias and Petőfi, and the Hungarians of ’56, all the way to us and beyond.”

He said people today feared for their freedom because of Brussels, just like at the time of 19th century revolutionary poet Sándor Petőfi.

“They want to pressure us into something that Hungarians cannot bring themselves to do … which is damnable for the Hungarian spirit, and … alien from Hungarian life”.

“They want to pressure us to get involved in a war, they want to force us to take in migrants, and they want to change the upbringing of our children, but we will not enter the war, we will not let the migrants in and we will not give them our children,” Orbán said.

“This is simple like algebra and clear as the Sun, because Hungary is a free and sovereign country, and it will stay so.”

Meanwhile, President Sulyok Calls for 'Fight for Nations' Survival'

Hungary’s survival “is not a given, so we have had to fight for it and we must continue fighting for it by means of law, the achievements of culture and the results of science,” President Tamás Sulyok said at a ceremony during which high state awards were handed over on the eve of the March 15 holiday.

At the ceremony held in Parliament, Sulyok quoted a well-known line from the revolutionary poet Sándor Petőfi: “‘Rise, Hungarians!’ is not a simple exclamation but an imperative spanning centuries: an order to fight for rights and freedom given at a time when [Hungarians] were stripped of their rights and oppressed,” he said.

“We learnt how to dance with legs tied up, and steadily rebuilt the country, improved our language, strengthened our institutions and communities, while our scientists were always at the forefront of innovation, even in the hardest of times,” he said.

“Our culture is not just a guarantee for our survival but an incentive, an infinite set of values, which will not only nourish us but inspire us to do great deeds, to brilliant achievements and fantastic discoveries,” the president said.

Hungarian culture is universal “in the sense that it is a part of the national identity … should we disappear, the world will be smaller,” he said.

Referring to recipients of the Kossuth and Széchenyi prizes as well as those of the Hungarian Order of Merit present at the ceremony, the president called them “architects of Hungarian culture and science who have enriched the European and global human treasury with their achievements.”

The awardees’ achievements “strengthen the nation, and everybody benefits … the prizes are a respectful recognition of the results of perseverance, commitment, decision, talent, and knowledge which took decades to accumulate,” he said.

“Those with a talent have an obligation to cultivate it to the utmost so that they can bring the most benefit to their peers, because every person is worth as much as the good they can provide to their fellow humans and homeland,” Sulyok said.

Meanwhile, the president said the lesson of 1848 was that “we cannot be successful without exercising rights … we will need enthusiastic lawyers in all times, because … homeland is where people have rights.”

March 15 Commemorations Conclude with Ceremony Held at Washington Embassy

The March 15 celebrations, marking the 176th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1848-49 revolution and war of independence, ended on Friday with an official commemoration organized for members of the local diaspora at the Hungarian embassy in Washington.

Ambassador Szabolcs Takács noted that traditionally Hungarians living in and around the American capital are invited to celebrate on March 15, and this was also the case this year.

At the ceremony, Emese Latkóczy, the director and one of the founders of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, received the Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit, for her work.

Previously during the day, local Hungarian organisations held a commemoration at the Kossuth House in Washington, the leaders of the scout troop, the Catholic and Reformed communities, and the Kossuth Foundation laying a wreath at the memorial plaque of Lajos Kossuth.

Péter Pál Schmitt, the deputy head of mission, laid a wreath at the Kossuth memorial on behalf of the Hungarian embassy. Sándor Végh, the president of the foundation that operates the Kossuth House, noted that Lajos Kossuth had visited Washington in December 1851 to gain support for the Hungarian cause.

The Tisza Dance Ensemble, made up of American and Hungarian members, gave a festive show at the Kossuth House.

The March 15 commemorations coincided with another commemoration held a few hundred kilometres from Washington, at the NATO command in Norfolk, where Hungary, Poland and Czechia commemorated the 25th anniversary of their NATO membership.

At this event, Ambassador Takács drew attention to Hungary’s commitment to the NATO alliance, and said Hungary’s budget contribution to NATO serves the purpose of making the organisation a truly defensive alliance with a military force that is a deterrent, but one that is in service of peace.

The March 15 commemorations began on Wednesday in the Capitol building, where Ambassador Takács and Congresswoman Carol Miller laid a wreath at the statue of Lajos Kossuth.

MTI Photo: Szilárd Koszticsák

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