Monday, October 24, 2016

Hungary marks anniversary of 1956 event with opposing demonstrations

Hungarian officials marked the 60th anniversary of the 1956 uprising on Sunday with a government rally by parliament and an opposite rally at a main Budapest crossroads.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who was accompanied by Polish President Andrzej Duda, spoke at length, in part extolling the memory of the uprising.

He called October 23, 1956 a day everyone could be proud of and compared efforts for freedom to swimming - if you stop, you'll sink, he said.

 He then focused on the EU, accusing it of trying to shape a contemporary empire, a United States of Europe instead of an alliance of free European nations.

We Hungarians want to remain a nation in Europe and not become a European ethnic group, Orban said.

He also spoke of the borders he has closed down, saying Hungary could not allow "terrorists, who have declared war on the western world, opportunists who convinced hundreds of thousands of people to head for Europe, and naive souls who have no idea of the mortal danger they present to Europe and themselves" to move forward.

We had to close down our borders despite being attacked from behind, from those we were really protecting, Orban said, in a reference to criticism from the European Union.

Duda spoke briefly, assuring Hungary of Poland's friendship, past, present, and future.

At the same time the left wing opposition groups held a joint rally, calling for the splintered left to cooperate, and use their joint influence to win over the Orban administration in the next election.

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