Budapest (MTI) – A demonstration for “changing the general state of affairs” in Hungary started by the Opera House in Budapest on Friday evening, MTI’s local correspondent said.
Participants filled Andrassy boulevard from the Opera House to Nagymezo street, the correspondent said.
Zsolt Varady, an activist of the organising NowUs (MostMi) social pressure group, said demonstrators do not reject representative democracy, but would question political parties present over the past 25 years over why they had failed to take real steps to involve society in the handling of public affairs. Varady said he did not have political ambitions for now.
He said politicians today are not working to represent public affairs but are rather working for their own interests. Society must awaken to consciousness, as “it is not the job of the state to think of us”. The most important task ahead is to build a self-conscious society, Varady said.
Bernadette Somody, the head of the civil organisation Eotvos Karoly Institute, said Hungary’s basic law adopted three years ago states that Hungary is a republic but “this is not so”. “We must re-create the republic of Hungary and create a new constitution,” she told the gathering.
She said a republic can provide the biggest freedom and safety to everyone and the constitution, too, “must belong to all of us”. She also urged a completely transparent operation of the state.
Addressing the participants, Tessza Udvarhelyi and Zsolt Csizi, two activists, said the government has done everything not to reduce social inequality but to increase it. Udvarhelyi said the government “must go” and credible, responsible leftist politicians were needed in the future.
Gabor Vago, a former lawmaker of the opposition LMP party, said the Fidesz regime was “doomed to fail”, but whether this would “happen tomorrow, this year, in 2018 or in decades” depended on conscious citizens. He said a democratic European alternative must be presented, and no time, energy or money spared to create a democratic, centrist country.
Laszlo Kalman, a linguist, said the state should operate in a transparent way and deep poverty should be eliminated. He said no government before 2010 had been set on correcting “serious, systemic faults” either, and for this reason the civil groups did not want to see a return to a pre-2010 state.
Bori Takacs, a founder of MostMi, said the next demonstration would be held to coincide with a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel next month in order to demonstrate a wish to belong to Europe.
The demonstration ended at about 8pm.