The Prime Minister delivered his speech on a stage decorated with national flags erected at the corner of Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Boulevard and Andrássy Boulevard after the attendees of the Peace March organised by CÖF (Civil Unity Forum) and CÖKA (Civil Unity Non-profit Organisation) had arrived at the scene.
Remembering the days 65 years before and the afternoon fifteen years before, at the beginning of his address Mr Orbán highlighted: “This is not a customary venue. Around this time fifteen years ago, at the corner of Andrássy and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Boulevards, the past and the present stared at each other.” He said fifteen years ago, “the young communists turned 23 October into 4 November”.
On the one side, tear gas grenades, rubber bullets, vipers, uniforms without identification numbers and water cannons. On the other side stood members of the betrayed and humiliated nation who were compelled to hear again fifty years on that they were told lies morning, night and evening, he said.
Mr Orbán stressed that “on the one side, power elicited with tricks in the hundreds and defended tooth and nail; on the other, desperate people lining up behind the enormous letters of freedom”.
In his view, at the same time, there are moments in the lives of nations when all of a sudden everyone feels that enough is enough, things cannot continue the way they did before.
“A decision must be made, and our decision shows who we really are. It reveals what an entire nation is worth. Will they stay silent or protest; will they resign themselves to their fate or revolt; will they look away or stand up straight; will they walk away or take on the fight?” he said.
He stated: “We Hungarians made the right decision. We protested, stood up straight, revolted and fought.” Freedom against slavery, independence against occupation, Hungarian patriots against the communists, the Prime Minister continued, highlighting that we remember that wonderful day when we Hungarians showed ourselves, the world and our enemies who we really are.
Mr Orbán said today “we remember the day when we asked ourselves not whether God is with us, but whether we are with God. Enormous strength descended upon us, and the pillars of communist power shook.” We remember the moment when “the nation of Hungarians found their feet within seconds, and Magyars’ name told the story, worthy of our erstwhile glory,” he added.
He said it was this Hungary that the new generation of communists picked a fight with again in 2006. The communists who entered into power with lies, deceived people with tax reductions, and then raised taxes, introduced daily hospital fees, visit fees, and raised household utility prices to the sky. They took the thirteenth monthly pension away, and did away with family benefits. Colluding with the realm of international bankers, they lured families in the hundreds of thousands into the trap of foreign currency loans, he listed.
They sold off the country, they sold everything to foreigners, the airport, national energy companies, public utility providers. And after they plundered the country, “they bankrupted it and tied the IMF’s leash to our necks,” he said.
“And when we finally spoke up, they responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and a mounted charge. They had eyes shot out, and beat defenceless women and elderly men with truncheons,” he added.
In this place where we are standing now, fifteen years ago violence, blood and tears flooded the streets of Pest. And all this happened on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1956 revolution, before the world’s eyes. “We will never forgive them,” he pointed out.
He said they waited for four years to avenge themselves, and in 2010 they swept away socialist Hungary. In 1956, Ernő Gerő and his associates fled to Moscow at break-neck speed, but in 2006 the leader of the socialists remained here on our necks. He stayed, and is haunting us in public life as “the phantom of Parliament,” he said.
He pointed out that it took us years to rectify the destruction of the Left, but “we helped Hungary back on its feet”. The Prime Minister said “it is amazing grace” that meanwhile national unity has survived throughout, and with the combined effort of workers, engineers, farmers, small and big businesses, scientists, teachers, nurses and physicians, we have managed to clear away the rubble.
He said we have created a million new jobs, “we have cast foreign currency loans off ourselves, have reduced taxes, and have reached the point where next year the minimum wage will be higher than the average wage was during the socialists’ reign. We have bought back public utility companies, banks and media outlets, and have increased the assets of the nation one and a half fold. We have levied taxes on multinational companies, have protected families, and have cut household utility charges to the lowest in the whole of Europe, he listed.
Mr Orbán stressed that today, Hungary is strong enough to appreciate the elderly and the young all at once. We will re-introduce the thirteenth monthly pension, and from next year young people living off work will not have to pay tax. At the same time, families raising children will be refunded the taxes they paid this year, the Prime Minister said.
In his view, by now “we have our own Hungarian world and Hungarian life,” and we have a Constitution which guarantees that no one can ever again do to us what they did to us in 1956 and in 2006. He added that they have crossed the borders separating parts of the nation, and have reunited the Hungarian people. It has taken, he continued, many millions of concordant intentions and diligent pairs of hands, but having an able government that is ready to take action also helped.
Before a crowd of commemorators filling Erzsébet Square and Deák Square entirely and lining Károly körút all the way to Astoria, Mr Orbán also said we must not forget that when we drastically reduced household energy prices, when we skimmed the extra profits of multinational companies, and when we sent the IMF packing, we were attacked by the entire European Union. And they also attacked us when we stopped migrants, built the fence and protected our borders.
He said the same as in 1849, 1920, 1945 and 1956, top European dignitaries want to decide over our heads; about us, but without us again. “They’re trying to beat us into sensitive and liberal European beings even if we die in the process,” the Prime Minister said, taking the view that today, Brussels is talking to us and behaving as far as we and the Polish are concerned as is customary with the enemy. He observed that “the air of the Brezhnev Doctrine is pervading Europe”.
He pointed out that it would be about time for people in Brussels to finally understand that not even the communists managed to break us. “We’re the sand in the machine, the stick in the spokes, the thorn in the side. We’re the David that Goliath would do well to avoid. We’re the ones who sank the boat of world communism in 1956, and we’re the ones who knocked the first brick out of the Berlin Wall,” he said.
He highlighted that also now, we are standing our ground, and all we say is that the Hungarians are not right, they will be right. And, he continued, as three is the magic number, after the household utility charge and migrant affairs, we will be right for the third time as well: there will be a referendum, and we will protect our children as well. “Hungary will be the first country in Europe where we will stop the aggressive LGBTQ propaganda at the walls of our schools,” he stated.
The Prime Minister took the view that on the tree of the Left only left-wing politics can grow, and there is only one Left, no matter how many different ways they mask themselves. They start with lies, continue with violence, and leave ruins behind them, he added. He quoted from the Gospel of Matthew: “Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing. By their fruit you will recognise them. Every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit.”
“Our opponents believe that if they dress a wolf in sheep’s clothing, we won’t recognise it. But we recognise it immediately: we know that it’s a wolf.” “We also know that the wolf will eat granny; in fact, it has already done so. This is why everyone making friends with the wolf has disappeared into the belly of ‘unity,’ he said, observing: “Believe me, there is plenty of room there for ever more little people of the minute”.
In his words, the Left are organising themselves and baring their teeth again, “they’re scattering the seeds of discord, hate, hostility and violence”. Those who had people shot at fifteen years ago are preparing to enter the stage again, Mr Orbán said, adding that “somewhere on the far side of the ‘Big Water’ Uncle George, too, is getting ready”.
Mr Orbán – whose speech was applauded and cheered by members of the attending crowd several times – also pointed out that the invitation was to liberate us from Soviet occupation, not to crudely interfere in our democracy. At the same time, he stated that this time around the Hungarian people will decide about the fate of the Hungarian people, and the truth is on the side of the freedom fighters.
He said 23 October reminds us to not forget about our own personal responsibility. “One thousand one hundred years have engraved it into our DNA” that here in the Carpathian Basin we must fight for freedom every day over and over again, he said, adding that the fight for freedom takes not only heart, it takes not only wit, but also strength, and our strength lies in our unity.
He stressed that in unity there is strength, “we are together because we believe in the same things”. In family, in nation, “we all believe in a strong and independent Hungary,” he added, highlighting that those who protect their family, their nation against foreign attacks can count not only on their wit, heart and strength, but equally on being right. The truth was on the side of the freedom fighters back then, and it is also today, he emphasised.
He said “if we want to protect the security of our families, the borders of our country, the future of our children, the fruit of our labours, our pensions, our salaries, the reduction of household energy bills, if we want to preserve our culture, our customs, our language; in other words, if we want to defend the freedom of our daily lives, then everyone must take part in the struggle that awaits us”.
We count on every Hungarian who cares about the future of Hungary, he said, stressing that “for us Hungary is first, and therefore, with our government even those who don’t vote for us are better-off”.
Mr Orbán further said what the Left are doing has indeed more to do with “the entertainment industry than with responsible politics,” as “they advertised in huge letters on hoardings that they will defeat us, and then some haven’t even lived to see Christmas,” he said in reference to the withdrawal from the opposition pre-election by incumbent Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karácsony (whose name means Christmas in Hungarian). At the same time, he warned, no one should be misled by “the domestic Left’s just-about-flickering judgement and spectacular, undignified clambering,” because what matters is the strength of the international actors standing behind them.
The real challenge or even threat is the international support – money, media and network – that is behind them, Mr Orbán added, taking the view that that power is so enormous that only several million Hungarians together can conquer it, and together can force it out of the country.
The Prime Minister asked the attending commemorators to take a look at the person standing next to them because then they can see: they can count on them. “They will do everything they can so that we pass through even the thickest wall. That’s where our strength lies, that is our support base, and there aren’t enough dollars or euros in this world that could take that away from us,” he said.
“We came, we saw, and we will conquer again! The Lord above us all, Hungary before everything! Come on, Hungary! Come on, Hungarians!” Mr Orbán said concluding his celebratory address.