The ideal of freedom that has guided the struggles of the Hungarian people for centuries must be enforced throughout the continent in order to protect the European identity and form of life, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at the commemoration held at the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the 1956 revolution and freedom fight.

In his celebratory speech, quoting the words of Lajos Kossuth, Mr Gulyás highlighted that “all for the people, and all by the people, but nothing about the people without the people – that is democracy”.

He stressed that this ideal guided the freedom fights of the Hungarian people, and in Europe, too, this must be enforced in the interest of protecting the identity and form of life that are “endangered equally in the short, medium and long terms”.

He said great national holidays are not only about the past, but also about the present, and observing today’s European politics from Hungary, one may recall the late US President Ronald Reagan who was keen on Soviet jokes and even told some of them to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

In one of these jokes the American says that in his country there is so much freedom that anyone can go to the White House and say that they do not like the way the president leads the country. In response, the Soviet leader said there is just as much freedom in his country: anyone can go to the Kremlin and say they do not like the way Ronald Reagan leads the United States, Mr Gulyás said to the delight of his audience of several hundred, including prominent German politicians, among them Reiner Haseloff, Minister President of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt.

Mr Gulyás added that due to “a lack of democratic legitimacy” anyone can freely say in the European Commission that they do not like the way the Hungarian Prime Minister governs his country. If, however, they say that they do not like the way the European Commission is led, “they will automatically be branded as EU-phobic and anti-EU” and “can expect to be shunned”.

In an interview given to the public service media after the commemoration, the Minister stressed that 1956 showed that “the desire for freedom is stronger than dictatorship, and dictatorship has no democratic legitimacy of any kind”. Now, upon the passage of several decades, “we may observe that these basic tenets must be made clear over and over again because in Europe lately not only democracy seems to matter”.

“The intellectual trend which disregards the will of the electorate, the sovereignty of nations, the freedom, decisions and choices of the people and democratic legitimacy” is particularly strong in Western Europe.

Remembering the 1956 revolution and freedom fight, we must emphasise that “at the end of the day, we fought so that those should make decisions in Hungary who were democratically elected so that the people’s will can be enforced in every area and we live in freedom”, Mr Gulyás said.