“Budapest is and will remain a republic,” Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said at the Freedom March organised in the capital on the March 15 national holiday marking the 175th anniversary of the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight on Wednesday. In a speech, Karácsony said the republic has been “removed from the name of our country and removed from the operation of the state, too”. He added that the republic “remains in free municipal councils, in the work of civil organisations, in the movements of teachers and students, in the Chamber of Physicians, in the struggles of defenders of the city and defenders of the law”.
Pointing to local elections in 2024, he urged “free cities” to be protected and pressed for their numbers to grow. He warned against allowing Hungary to become “a pariah” in Europe. He said the “tragedy of 1848” originated in part from the truth that Europe’s peoples can only be free together. “Whoever is wearing a cockade”, he said, referring to ribbon rosette of the national colours adopted by the 1848 revolutionaries, “must also declare freedom and peace for Ukraine, Hungary and all peoples”.