Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán made a veiled comparison today between the Soviet troops that attacked Hungary during the 1956 revolution and today’s institutions of the European Union, the Associated Press reported, quoted by BTA.
On the day Hungary marked the 66th anniversary of the suppression of the uprising, Orbán hinted that the EU, which is trying to stop Hungary’s retreat from democracy, would end up like the Soviet Union, which collapsed more than three decades ago.
“Let us pay no attention to those who are shooting at Hungary from the shadows or from the watchtowers of Brussels. They will end up just like their predecessors,” Orban told select guests at an event in the western Hungarian town of Zalaegerszeg, breaking with the tradition of speeches for anniversary to be in Budapest.
His absence from the capital on one of Hungary’s most important national holidays comes as the government faces increasing pressure from a steady wave of protests by Hungarian teachers and students. Teachers are demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Their next protest was planned for today in Budapest.
Orban, who describes his rule as an “illiberal democracy”, also faces the threat of European funding being cut over the state of democracy and alleged corruption. In an attempt to save some of the funds from the European funds, the Hungarian parliament recently adopted new anti-corruption legislation. However, there is still a risk that the country could lose billions of euros in funds as punishment for violating democratic standards – something that has recently led to a devaluation of the national currency and economic problems.
“We were here when the first conquering empire attacked us, and we will be here when the last one crumbles,” Orbán said today, adding: “We will bear what we have to and fight back with what we can. When we have to, we draw our swords and resist, when long years of oppression loom.” “We are winners even when we are defeated,” Orban concluded his speech.