Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

National Day of Cohesion – President Novak: To be Hungarian is to make a choice

To be Hungarian is to make a choice, the President of the Republic said at an event on National Day of Cohesion, marking the anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon, on Saturday.

Addressing the event held by the Rakoczi Association in Satoraljaujhely, in central Hungary, Katalin Novak said: “We are not mourning our losses but celebrating our riches; and this is the case even if not everyone clearly understands that there is no difference between Hungarians living here and abroad. To be Hungarian is to be Hungarian, period.”

“Just as in marriage you must say ‘yes’ from one day to the next, so you must say ‘yes’ every day to being Hungarian,” the president said.

Meanwhile, at a separate event celebrating National Day of Cohesion, Gergely Karacsony, the mayor of Budapest, said the lesson to be learned from the Treaty of Trianon was that “we are a single Hungarian [nation]”.

Karacsony said in a statement that Trianon was “the Hungarian nation’s common tragedy”, but politicians often misappropriated it, adding that the “government identifies itself with the nation and often weaponises it for the purpose of exclusion”, while the left wing refused to “step out of the shadows” and recognise its importance.

“When it comes to Trianon there aren’t any sides; there are no ideologies, only common grief,” he said.

The Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) said in a statement in connection with the national day that Hungary must remain a sovereign, independent, and European nation state “ready to champion its truth and represent the interests of all Hungarians”.

“Even when throughout our history we have often been a plaything of the great powers, we have insisted on upholding our independence, language, faith, culture, and traditions; this means our nation has survived even amidst the hardest times,” the statement said.

The opposition LMP party said in a statement that Hungarians must stand side by side with Hungarians living in the Carpathian Basin and join together in protecting its natural resources.

The green party’s co-leaders Erzsebet Schmuck and Mate Kanasz-Nagy said Hungary commemorated “the unjust and painful Trianon dictat” on behalf of all Hungarians.

“We must take responsibility for everyone who holds the nation in their hearts … the Carpathian Basin is our common heritage, and our common duty is to preserve our natural riches,” the statement said.

Laszlo Kover, the Speaker of Parliament, said in an interview to commercial broadcaster Hir TV that Hungary had survived the last hundred years, a testament to the nation’s “strength and indestructibility”.

“And if over the past thousand years we’ve managed to endure in this corner of the world, there is hope that we will endure in the next thousand,” he said.

Hungary, he added, was more organised and cohesive than 20-30 years ago. “This depends essentially on the motherland,” Kover said. “While the motherland is strong economically and politically … Hungarian communities abroad can also be strong.”

Meanwhile, Kover underlined Hungary’s standpoint that the questioning of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity was “intolerable”. He said Hungary’s interest was in a strong and democratic Ukrainian state governed by the rule of law, capable of guaranteeing the security and prosperity of its citizens, including its national minorities.

Zsolt Nemeth, head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, addressing a commemoration in Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyorgy), in central Romania, said Hungary and its neighbours should support each other to protect “security and freedom” in the region. “This is the basis for the alliance of Hungary and Romania, which is also aimed at ensuring security in Szekler Land,” he said, adding that the two countries’ NATO and EU membership were a key component of that alliance.

Nemeth also called for efforts to strengthen the economies of both countries, and he noted the contribution of ethnic Hungarians to “the richness of Szekler Land, the work of Szeklers, and the creativity of their businesses”.

Regarding unresolved issues between Hungary and Romania, Nemeth said “Szeklers rightfully expect Romanian-Hungarian relations to contribute to a resolution in terms of human rights, as well as legal issues in the domain of language and culture”. “The Hungarian government considers it Hungary and Romania’s shared interest that citizens of both countries feel as comfortable as possible in their homeland,” he said.

Hungary’s parliament declared June 4 Day of National Cohesion in 2010. It marks the day the peace treaty was signed in the Grand Trianon chateau of Versailles in 1920. Under the treaty, two-thirds of Hungary’s territory was ceded to neighboring countries.


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