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Diverging takes on the March 15 celebrations

March 17th, 2023

Mandiner quotes reactions from all sides to the various speeches to mark the 175th anniversary of the 1848 revolution. Each speech referred, albeit in contradictory ways, to the contentious issues of our own days.

Balázs Dezse, a journalist at Pesti Srácok, excoriates those opposition politicians who remarked that Hungarians have to fight for freedom today, just as they did in 1848. ‘If there was no freedom, you couldn’t stand there and speak nonsense in public!’ he writes.

Momentum founder András Fekete-Győr disapproves of the Prime Minister’s statement according to which Hungary is fighting against a new empire. Without mentioning Mr Orbán by name, he writes that ‘the heroes of 1848-49 didn’t consider Europe to be their enemy’.

Journalist András Hont finds it pathetic of both opposition and government politicians to try and use historical events to justify their current political positions. From their speeches one might deduce that they personally brought about the revolution back in 1848, he writes.

Gábor Fodor, a founding Fidesz member who later became chairman of the now defunct liberal Free Democrats recalls how Hungarians were able to strike a compromise with Austria just 18 years after their revolution was crushed, opening an era of unprecedented prosperity in many spheres of life. The lesson he draws from those events is that freedom is worth fighting for, but one must then be able to compromise.

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