Speaker Laszlo Kover in Slovenia - Photo: hirado.hu

Speaker inaugurates bust of revolutionary poet Petofi in Slovenia

Laszlo Kover, the speaker of parliament, inaugurated a bust of 19th century poet and revolutionary Sandor Petofi with Urska Klakocar Zupancic, his Slovenian counterpart, in Kranj, in western Slovenia, on Monday.

In his speech at La Ciotat Park, home to a bust of France Preseren, who penned Slovenia’s national anthem, Kover said that though Petofi and Preseren had never met, their ethoses had now symbolically found one another through their statues.

Kover thanked the city of Kranj for joining the inauguration of Petofi’s bust on the poet’s 200th birth anniversary and the 175th anniversary of the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight and for the opportunity to honour the memory of Preseren.

The speaker said that in the first half of the 19th century the Hungarian and Slovene nations had “suffered in the servitude of the same western empire”, adding that their poets “were the most eloquent spokesmen of the desire for freedom”.

Petofi’s and Preseren’s message to Hungarians and Slovenes is that they should never expect freedom to be given to them by western or eastern empires, “because empires can only have subjects who can be deceived, humiliated and robbed at any time”, Kover said.

Freedom for Hungarians and Slovenes in the form of political, economic and cultural self-determination can only come from the democratic Hungarian and Slovenian national states and their cooperation, he said.

Klakocar Zupancic said the long-standing friendship between Slovenia and Hungary was made stronger by the care they provide to the ethnic Hungarian and Slovene communities in each other’s countries. She congratulated Kover and Hungary on the occasion of the anniversary of the freedom fight.

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