The Budapest City Council rewarded 8 outstanding people of the world of culture, science and sports with the title of honorary citizenships of Budapest on Friday, June 17, writes

The celebratory meeting of the City Council was held on June 17, in honour of the Day of the Independent Hungary on June 19. Since 2001, the date is the national Remembrance Day of the last Soviet soldiers leaving the country, while the last Saturday of June was appointed the Day of Hungarian Liberty.

Before the rewards were announced, István Tarlós, Mayor of Budapest emphasized that they were celebrating liberty, Budapest and its most exceptional citizens at the same time. Thus, he stated that the community needs role models who give strength, safety, show the way, do valuable and devoted work. Especially in our day and age, as the world is greatly changing, traditional values are getting questioned, ties are loosening and new, previously unimaginable challenges appear.

The Honorary citizens of Budapest are Gergely Bogányi, pianist, László Dózsa, actor and director, Tamás Freund, neurobiologist and neuroscientist, Csaba Hegedűs, Olympic Champion of wrestling, Judit Polgár, international chess grandmaster, and Péter Pál Varga, director of the National Centre for Spinal Disorders.

Miklós Szabó, opera singer, and Bódog Török, handball coach and former captain received the reward posthumously, hence, their relatives – Erik Szabó, grandson of Miklós Szabó, and Edit Török Bódogné Molnár, wife of Bódog Török – accepted the rewards. In his speech László Dózsa remembered his comrades of 1956 and shared his reward with all of those who sacrificed their precious lives for Budapest.

Besides, Tarlós called attention to the continuous hard work of the rewarded people, during which they all have created something professionally, morally and humanly abiding. Furthermore, he mentioned how Budapest could always improve thanks to the works of outstanding individuals, patriotic and committed people, who created for the benefit of the community.

In honour of June 19, he highlighted how much Hungarians are familiar with the struggle reaching and keeping liberty requires and that it comes with responsibility as well. He added that liberty does not mean advertising confused ultraliberalism, anarchy or chaos. He said that one of their main tasks after taking the office was to restore order after two decades of disorder, disorganization and waste.

Moreover, he said that, in order to make Budapest a more liveable, comfortable, enjoyable and safer, the authorities needed to first establish safety in operation, financial factors, institutions and at public places. Moreover, according to him, the previous six years brought several improvements, including the finishing of investments which were postponed earlier.

Copy editor: bm



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