Budapest, November 5 (MTI) – Former Polish president Lech Walesa was guest of honour of a dinner hosted by Hungary’s President Janos Ader on Wednesday evening.
In his address Ader remembered his personal encounters with Walesa, aged 71, and the freedom-fights of the Polish people. He said they both attended a mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II during his third visit to Poland in the summer of 1987. He noted that neither of them knew at the time that they would once be presidents of their respective countries (Walesa three and half and Ader 27 years later).
Walesa, former leader of the Solidarity movement, said his generation had done much to dismantle borders in Europe. He said the walls were broken down so that equity would be created, but there is still much to be done to achieve equality in the social, cultural spheres and education.
The life of former Polish president Lech Walesa stands as an example for any political power which plans to return to the real principle of “government by the people”, Janos Lazar, the head of the prime minister’s office, said at a ceremony in Parliament.
Walesa was someone who could become a bridge leading from Communism to freedom and who was able to create connections where only walls and the iron curtain stood before: “between East and West”, Lazar said at the ceremony offering Walesa the Visegrad Bridge award on Wednesday.
Gergely Gulyas, deputy parliamentary speaker, said Walesa’s message is still valid today, as today’s Europe needs nothing more than solidarity, which respects differences of various historical traditions within the community.
Photo: MTI – Attila Kovacs