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Polarized nation to commemorate 1956 revolution

October 23rd, 2013

Pro-government columnists accuse the opposition of using the anniversary to entrench political cleavages. Left-wing pundits, on the other hand, suspect that the government is using the public media and other state run services to silence the opposition.

The left still feels disturbed by 1956, editor-in-chief István Stefka writes in Magyar Hírlap. The pro-government columnist believes that the left-wing parties as much as some reform-Communists during the late Kádár era, are still trying to frame the 1956 revolution as a left-wing uprising, and by doing so, they completely ignore the non-Communist heroes of the revolution. Today’s Hungarian left is the true ideological heir of the Communists and their aims are similar to those of their predecessors: “their primary aim is to plunder and sell the country”, Stefka maintains.

In Magyar Nemzet, Miklós Ugró finds it sad that the left-wing parties use the anniversary of the 1956 revolution to stage an anti-government demonstration (see BudaPost October 14). The pro-government columnist regards this as an opportunistic sectarian stance that betrays the true spirit and message of 1956, which should be about national unity.

The National Ambulance Service (OMSZ) is supporting the government in its efforts to silence the opposition, Ferenc Hajba comments in Népszabadság on the decision of the National Ambulance Service not to send stand-by ambulance cars free of charge to the demonstration of the opposition parties. The left-wing pundit finds it disappointing that more than two decades into democracy, the OMSZ is helping the government curtail the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, through such a bureaucratic obstacle.

In Népszava, editor-in-chief Péter Németh accuses the public media of ignoring the October 23rd left-wing demonstration, while advertising the Peace Walk announced for the same day by pro-government organizations. The left-wing columnist recommends the opposition to boycott the public media and demonstrate by doing so that it is politically biased and manipulative.

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