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In today’s Europe, advocating for peace takes courage, Culture and Innovation Minister János Csák said at an event marking the anniversary of the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight in Budapest on Wednesday. In his speech at the National Museum, Csák said “remembering our heroic predecessors, we proclaim proudly that Hungarians have been the people of freedom for the past 1,100 years”. Hungarians are the “survivors or even winners of history, not its victims”, because they have withstood all hardships and continue to prosper, he said. In the shadow of war, the importance of peace cannot be overstated, he said. “If this war is unleashed, it could destroy everything, even Europe.”
At a commemoration in Szombathely, in western Hungary, Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Hungarians are again living “in an age of peril”. Addressing the event organised by the Klapka György Equestrian Guard and Heritage Preservation Association, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Hungary must stay out of the war in neighbouring Ukraine, but “keep the powder dry”. Although Hungary “stands on the side of peace”, it is building an army that is “modern and uses the latest technology”, while preserving Hungarian soldiers’ “ancient virtues”, such as those of the hussars who fought in 1848-49, he added.
Finance Minister Mihály Varga told an event in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), in north-western Romania, that the revolution of 1848 marked the birth of institutional Hungarian freedom. He said the sacrifices of the heroes of the revolution could be reciprocated by strengthening and guaranteeing the nation’s independence and self-determination for future generations. “When we celebrate 1848, we Hungarians also celebrate a diverse Europe founded on autonomous nation-states,” the minister said. “We must defend our freedom ourselves, just as we had to in 1848 and after the two world wars, and as we must do so today on new fronts.”
Addressing an event in Sfântu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy), Romania, Justice Minister Judit Varga said Hungarians “say no to the concept of European empire” and are “insistent on keeping their freedom won through the sacrifice of blood”. Varga said the interests of Hungarians living inside the country and outside of its borders “come first”. She warned that a “hegemony of opinion” is taking shape in Europe and said the European Union is “uniting on the matter of self-censorship, not diversity”. She added that Brussels’ response to the war in Ukraine has “failed”. Hungarians today, as their predecessors in 1848, want peace, freedom and understanding, she said.