Barsiné Etelka Pataki took part in the reconstruction of Hungary with all her might, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday at the funeral held at the Farkasrét Cemetery in Budapest of the former Member of European Parliament for Fidesz who passed away on 4 February.

Barsiné Etelka Pataki worked tirelessly for a civic, national and Christian Hungary in a number of functions, and devoted her whole life to that service, the Prime Minister stressed.

“She was faithful and loyal to her political community, stood by her nation and her faith unwaveringly even in rain and mud”, Mr Orbán said about Barsiné Etelka Pataky who died aged 77. He added: “Her Christian work ethic, her resolve, her perseverance and her patience made us all admire her”.

Barsainé Etelka Pataky managed to stand her ground as a woman in the world of engineers dominated by men, and even became a leading figure in her line of work. She also stood her ground in the trying and unfair world of Hungarian politics as well as on the international scene, the Prime Minister highlighted, recalling that “at the dawn of free Hungary” she was among the first to join the democrats rallying around József Antall eager to dismantle the communist regime.

When her original political community fell apart “in the gruelling struggle”, he continued, she was among the first to recognise where she could continue to represent Christian, national, civic and conservative ideals authentically both from her own and from the country’s point of view. She set an example for many, “and together, uniting our efforts on the civic side, we achieved a great many results”, Mr Orbán said.

Barsiné Etelka Pataky “stood with us, stayed with us even in the most difficult and most hopeless times”, she was not swept away by the whirlwinds of defeat or victory, he said.

“Without her example and perseverance shared by other similarly committed Hungarian people, the national and Christian camp and the ideal of a civic Hungary could never have prevailed in Hungary”, the Prime Minister said, stating: “she is a model for the politicians of today and of the future”.

Gyula Nagy, President of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers spoke about Barsiné Etelka Pataky, who held the office before him, as a flag-bearer who remained an engineer in every facet of her life, and served the good of her country and its society “as a representative of civic culture in the noble sense of the term who created values herself”.

He said she had preserved her integrity in her domestic and diplomatic duties throughout, and had stood her ground in the high winds of politics. As a politician, she earned the respect and appreciation of every political actor, and when in 2009 she was elected president of the chamber, she made the formerly divided organisation strong and united, which in turn was able to successfully safeguard the professional interests of its members and to preserve its former achievements.

Barsiné Etelka Pataky first emerged on the democratic political scene in 1990 under the flag of MDF (Hungarian Democratic Forum), and between 2000 and 2003 she was Hungary’s ambassador to Vienna. In 2004 she obtained a seat in the European Parliament on Fidesz’s list, in 2009 she was elected President of the Hungarian Chamber of Engineers, and in 2010 she was appointed government commissioner for the European Union’s Strategy for the Danube Region.