Prime Minister Viktor Orbán attended the funeral of poet Géza Szőcs, former state secretary and the prime minister’s chief cultural advisor, who died on November 5. In his eulogy, Orbán said the deceased poet had been “more than a friend, a mentor, strategist, and spiritual support”. He had “more ideas than politics could bear, more words than his poetry needed, and more stories that could fill textbooks,” Orbán said. Born in Transylvania, Szőcs “defied Romania’s and Hungary’s communists, and gave directions in chaotic times of transition as a poet with quiet but weighty words,” the prime minister said.
Born in Romania’s Tȃrgu Mureş (Marosvásárhely) in 1953, Szőcs became an important voice in Romanian Hungarian literature in the 1970s. After the fall of the regime, he became one of the leaders of Romania’s ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party and served in the Senate as the party’s group leader. He worked as a state secretary for culture in Hungary’s Human Resources Ministry between 2010 and 2012, and as an advisor in cultural affairs since. He was awarded the József Attila and Kossuth state prizes in 1993 and 2015, respectively.