St Stephen’s Day national holiday in Hungary – Photos
Budapest, August 20 (MTI) – Speaking at a state celebration marking Hungary’s St Stephen’s Day national holiday, President János Áder said that Hungarians should be proud of their nation and celebrate their achievements, inventions and resourcefulness.
At the inauguration of military officers held in front of Parliament in Kossuth Square, the president told soldiers and celebrants gathered there:
“Today, too, we are the people of St Stephen; a diverse people which has often used its own strength to turn the wheels of history.”
“It is a people of revolutionary heroes, both famous and anonymous, the persecuted, the outcast, and the obstinate re-inventors, as well as those who insist on freedom at any price,” he said.
“We did not bury patriotism alongside the great of our past under heavy marble tombs. Neither is heroism cast numb in sculptures; because heroism does not only take place through historical actions but through worthy work, persistent diligence and honourable achievements,” the president said.
Ader said that during the ongoing Olympic games, it was palpable many times over that “national feeling is not only uplifting but propels people forward and sweeps them along with it.” He appealed to Hungarians to be proud of their sportspeople and to feel a sense of belonging together when Hungarians stand atop the podiums.
Defence Minister Istvan Simicsko said at the event that Hungary is a “point of stability in a changing world”. Military service is the one profession that throughout history has always been about protecting Hungary and its people, he said. He thanked the new officers for choosing military careers and for their contributions to Hungary’s border protection efforts over the past year.
He gave warning that the military faces a variety of new challenges such as mass migration and the rise of terrorism. Furthermore, the arrival of the age of information warfare means that it is now enough to simply turn on a computer or a smartphone to mount an attack, the minister added.
Later in the day in Sándor Palace, the president handed over the most prestigious state award, the Hungarian Order of St Stephen, to opera singer Éva Marton and poet, linguist and literary translator Ádám Makkai. Marton also received the title of Artist of the Nation. Among dignitaries present at the ceremony were Head of the Hungarian Catholic Church, Cardinal Péter Erdő and Archbishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, Apostolic Nuncio of Hungary.
Head of the government office: Hungary never gave up sovereignty
MTI – Hungary has never given up its sovereignty, Christianity or its heritage as an independent state of St Stephen, János Lázár, head of the government office, said at an event in his home town of Hodmezovasarhely, marking Hungary’s national St Stephen’s Day holiday on Saturday.
Lázár said the European Union is not a political alliance of several hundred years but “an initiative operating in test mode”.
“Brussels is by now a bigger border violator than the migrants” since its leaders, “who have zero legitimacy and are unelected”, are trying to create a membership contract on a whim. “But not a single member state has given up its sovereignty,” he said.
Until the ruling Fidesz party won the 2010 election, Hungary was a passive, silently nodding participant of the EU. Since then, however, it has become an active player in cooperation, Lázár said.
“Hungary has made a comeback … there is no reason to stay silent and quake at the threat of sanctions or possible excommunication,” he said.
The EU is plagued by internal financial crises, the exit of Great Britain and the migration crisis, he said. Mandatory migrant quotas are a way of sweeping the main problem under the carpet, “namely that Europe’s international standing has weakened dramatically and millions of people are knocking at its doors unchecked.”
“If need be, we’ll protect Europe from itself,” he said, adding that Hungary will not leave Europe’s citizens who are dissatisfied with Brussels on their own.