The president in Szekesfehervar - Photo: MTI

Novak: ‘Our fate is bound with that of Europe’

"Our fate is bound with that of Europe," President Katalin Novak said on Saturday at a celebration of Hungary's St. Stephen's Day national holiday. "We need the community of European countries and they need us, too," the president said in Szekesfehervar, in central Hungary.

“Today, when the continent is at risk of becoming a battleground of the major powers, we must stand shoulder to shoulder,” Novak said. Europeans must reach joint decisions that serve the common good, she added.

“The precondition for our cooperation is that they do not blackmail us either with the money we are entitled to or ideologies that have been rejected by Hungarians,” the president said.

Hungary wants to make Europe stronger and the continent’s “voice louder”, Novak said. “This is how we’ll have a chance to protect Europeans and preserve the parts of our history and culture that made Europe great,” she added.

The president said brave, determined and wise leaders were needed to restore order in the world and Europe. Such leaders, she said, were capable of upholding law and justice and would not forget about those in need.

In addition to good leaders, sober-minded, considerate and wise Hungarians who show solidarity are also needed, Novak said. The Hungarian people are crisis resistant and their strength comes from their ability to unite, she added.

Noting Saturday morning’s swearing-in ceremony of new officers, Novak thanked Hungary’s troops for their patriotism, determination and courage, saying: “May God spare us from war and keep our soldiers and our families in peace.”

In her capacity of commander-in-chief of the Hungarian Armed Forces, the president said that Hungary’s leaders would do everything in their power to “prevent bloodshed on Hungarian soil”.

“It is now that we must draw strength from King Saint Stephen’s wisdom, faith, foresight, tactfulness, courage and modesty,” Novak said. “It is now that we have the opportunity to consider how many instances of bad luck, conflict and injustice the Hungarian nation survived to remain strong.”

The president said the founding of a state was similar to forming a family in that they both required courage, faith, determination and hope in the future.

Without Saint Stephen’s brave decision, there would not be an independent and strong Hungary today, “just as we wouldn’t be here without the brave decisions made by our great-grandparents and our grandparents”, she said.

The president expressed the wish that Hungarians would “always have bread on their tables and people with whom it is a joy to sit around the table”.

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