Hungary and the Hungarian nation owe their survival to their great achievements, the prime minister’s office chief said on Friday, on the occasion of the August 20 national holiday.
“We can be proud that as one of Europe’s oldest states, Hungary still exists today; it lives in freedom and plans for the future embracing all Hungarians, regardless of where they live,” Gergely Gulyás said in Budapest’s Várkert Bazár, handing out state awards.
King Saint Stephen, Hungary’s founder who is commemorated on the August 20 national holiday, “made Christianity a part of the nation’s life” and helped “Hungarian culture to become European while preserving its identity”, Gulyás said.
He noted that Hungary had regained its freedom from communist oppression in 1989, thirty years ago. “Despite our current differences, that change brought a blessing: this country can now decide of its own fate and future democratically, of its own will”.
“Those speaking of the necessity of a regime change in Hungary today want to return to that dictatorship,” he said.
Gulyás presented the Knight’s Cross, Officer’s Cross and Medium Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary to artists, lawyers, university professors and others.