By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife reporting from Budapest


At least 100,000 Hungarians participated in demonstration for Prime Minister Orbán and his government, with some carrying his picture.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)– At least 100,000 Hungarians, many of them arriving from the countryside and neighboring nations, marched for Hungary’s center-right government and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán Saturday, January 21, in what the opposition compared to a rally in North Korea.

The “Peace March for Hungary” in Budapest came just days after the European Union condemned perceived autocratic laws introduced by the Orbán administration, saying they threaten the independence of the central bank, judiciary, and the data protection office and violate EU regulations.

Hungary’s Ministry of Interior estimated crowds as high as 400,000, making it the largest pro-government demonstration since the collapse of Communism in 1989, but Western reporters and several Hungarian media outlets reported lower figures.

Don’t miss!  Family event! Life time experience !
Say “Good-buy”  to a cold winter.

Thousands carried Hungarian flags, sang patriotic songs and chanted slogans in support of the prime minister and some carried his picture. A huge banner was unveiled saying “we don’t want to be a colony” a reference to Orbán’s previous suggestions that Hungary’s sovereignty is threatened by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and demands from the European Union.

Organizers of the rally, billionaire Gábor Széles , news magazine editor András Bencsik and others said the rally was to show Hungary would not bow to the West.


“We won’t be a dominion, we don’t want to be a colony,” Bencsik told the crowd. “This is our message to those abroad. “The other is we fully support Viktor Orban, and we are proud of what we achieved at the 2010 elections.”

Yet, with Hungary seeking as much as $26 billion dollars in financial assistance from the IMF and EU to pay its bills,  Orbán struck a more consolatory tone Friday, January 20. He said his government was ready to change laws “because the weight of the issues is not significant” and  that he “would like to reduce the conflicts between Hungary, the EU and the Commission…”

However José Manuel Barroso, president of the Commission, cautioned that “Beyond the legal aspects, some concerns have been expressed regarding the quality of democracy in Hungary, its political culture, the relations between government and opposition, and between the state and the civil society.”

Facing  Orbán during a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week, Barroso added: “The issues at stake here may go beyond the European Union law matters that have been raised. These other issues should also be addressed.”

They also include concerns over a perceived crackdown on media and the limiting of recognized churches and religions to just 14, effectively outlawing hundreds of other groups, including several evangelical churches.


Those taking part in Saturday’s rally strongly disagreed with the international outcry, shouting “Viktor is our man” and “Justice for Hungary!”

One sign compared Hungary’s long history with the relatively young age of its critics: “EU, 55; IMF, 67; U.S., 236; Hungary 1,116.”

“There was an attack on Hungary, but we stood up against the world,” said an artist who welcomed protesters at Budapest’s Heroes Square, the starting point of the nearly four-kilometer (2.5-mile) march to Hungary’s Neo-Gothic parliament building.

Opinion polls show over eight out of ten Hungarians say the country is heading towards the wrong direction, but with a fragmented opposition, Orbán’s  center-right Fidesz party has support of some 1.5 million voters in this country of 10 million people.

Pollsters also suggest that Fidesz lost nearly half of its voters. Analysts say Orbán may try reach out to voters now supporting the far right Movement for A Better Hungary (Jobbik), the second opposition party here.


Last week Jobbik held a rally in front of the European Commission offices in Budapest where, after several attempts, Jobbik officials managed to torch an EU flag.

Prime Minister Orbán turned down a request to speak at the pro-government rally, with a spokesman saying this would not be appropriate as “this will be a civil event.”

His decision, however, came amid controversy. Earlier this month, an official of Hungary’s opposition Socialist Party, Tibor Szanyi, asked the government whether reports are true that Fidesz would organize a mass rally in favor of Orbán “North Korean style”.

(BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key news developments from especially but not limited to (former) Communist nations and other (former) autocratic countries, impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals. Hungary is also where BosNewsLife is based).  


  1. Dear Z,

    We have said at least 100,000. We are not sure about the 400,000, even after looking at the video. But we have mentioned that figure quoted by the Interior Ministry. Organizers even spoke about one million, that’s clearly not the case however.

    Best regards,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  2. ‘effectively outlawing hundreds of other groups, including several evangelical churches’ – this statement is false (not true, misleading). Effectively cutting government subsidy is the true statement. All non-recognized religious groups are allowed to function based on their own budgets, without governement support. BosNews, please document your statements at the source (by reading the Hungarian law, for instance) instead of taking over lies that others spread before you!

  3. It is funny how reporting works in the Western media.

    The organizers estimated that one million people attended the demonstration. OK, one can argue that the organizers always over estimate.

    The police (interior ministry) estimated that 400.000 people were attending. Usually the police estimates are accepted as reliable.

    The Index News organization, a known leftist, anti-government outfit estimated that there were 100.000 people attending. Interestingly, this is the number quoted in most headlines in the Western media.

    I think this says it all, including about this website.

  4. Dear Moldován Dezső,

    We said basically the same, calling it the largest crowd since the collapse of Communism, based on what the ministry said and even organizers, though there have been other massive pro-Orbán rallies in previous years. There seems to be no concensus in Hungary on the number of participants.

    BosNewsLife News Center

  5. Dear Attila,

    the ‘effectively outlawing’ should be seen in the context of the whole story and sentence. Most churches will have to ask again for registration to be recognized as a church. That reminds former dissidents to the Communist days. We have given different opinions in this story. We don’t see anything manupulative about that.

    Best regards,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  6. As I predicted before the verbal assault just united the nation. It does not matter who supports Fidesz, who thinks that things are going into the wrong direction, most of us, Hungarians, were with the protesters yestereday even if are not supporters of the present government and were not present physically there.

    If I were a policy maker at the opposition parties I would have called my supporters to join the march. There is time when you express your disagreement with the government policy and there is time when you unite. Supporting the harsh attacks coming from abroad will backfire.

    No one can rule Hungary. No one could and no one will ever be able to.

  7. Dear Zoltan,

    Critics may argue that millions stayed home. Opinion polls show that the nation is not so united as you seem to suggest. Having said that, it was a big crowd, which we reported.

    Best regards,

    Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife

  8. Quoting Attila Mesterhazy’s opinions regarding the event is at least inapropriate. He is the leader of a party that is in every sense a continuation of the hungarian comunist party.
    Mesterhazy compearing the event to something in North Korea is outright offensive.
    As for the new constitution; the one it replaces was promulgated by Stalin & co. I would think the west would velcome the change! After all it was installed by a democraticaly elected representative assembly elected with a 2/3 majority!

  9. does it count how many where there?

    No, really not, what count, is the astronomical deth of Hungary, and you can be for left or from right side, would not make any difference now.

    Hungarians, are a people who do not like to truly follows any rules, period….Hungarians, think, they are a great nation, are they? Hungarian, when they do not like some ruling, would always find a way to turn around….

    We can not expect, any improvment, when, a people does not stand together to truly grow…

  10. Second Hungarian uprising is as inspirational as the first
    Published on Sunday 15 January 2012 00:00

    WHEN all the usual suspects – the European Union, the United Nations, the IMF, the leftist commentariat, Hillary Clinton et al – are hand-wringing and getting their underpinnings in a twist over some alleged affront to the New World Order, it is a pretty reliable indication that someone, somewhere is doing something uncharacteristically constructive.

    So it is with the chorus of condemnation of Hungary over its new constitution, which came into effect on 1 January. As the lamentations of the bien-pensants suggest, it is a long time since any western nation produced a document of such intellectual and cultural integrity, moral worth and wholly admirable quality. In the moral desert of 21st-century Europe, it is startling to find this gem of traditional values, patriotic assertion and respect for genuine freedom. Naturally, Brussels and Obama-occupied Washington are anxious to force its repeal: they should read some Hungarian history before embarking on such a futile confrontation.

    The first issue that has provoked dismay among critics is that Hungary is no longer a republic. The words “Republic of” have been excised from the nation’s official title. According to left-wing commentators, this suggests democracy is in danger. Considering that Hungary was declared a republic on 1 February, 1946, by a Communist-controlled government that had gained power with 17 per cent of the vote, the term hardly seems redolent of civic liberties. By its immemorial constitutional tradition, Hungary is ruled by the Holy Crown of St Stephen, the ultimate symbol of authority. The royal seal of Hungarian kings did not bear the monarch’s name but the inscription: “The seal of the Holy Crown of Hungary.”

    The removal of republican nomenclature was the culmination of a process begun under a new law, the Lex Millenaris, when the royal regalia were carried in procession to the Hungarian parliament on January 1, 2000, as the symbols of authority. Although the monarchy has not been restored in the person of an individual, if a Habsburg restoration were eventually thought politic the Archduke Georg, the Magyarised son of the late Crown Prince Otto, already resides in Budapest. Hungary’s post-Habsburg history has been tragic. At the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, Woodrow Wilson robbed Hungary of 71 per cent of its territory, 66 per cent of its population and its only seaport. That was a preliminary taste of American foreign policy initiatives.

    The new constitution makes the classic statement of Burkean philosophy: “Our Basic Law is the foundation of our legal system; it is a contract between Hungarians past, present and future.” That recognition of the seamless continuum of history and the transience of generations stands head and shoulders above the trashy verbiage of EU treaties. Not only does it “recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood”, it “professes that the family and the nation constitute the principal framework of our coexistence”. No wonder it is anathema to the Frankfurt Marxists of the EU.

    It protects human life from the moment of conception and defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It lists the crimes of Communism and lifts the statute of limitations that protected the criminals of the Soviet era who despatched 600,000 Hungarians to concentration camps. Hungary’s transition to democracy is often called painless, because the Red nomenklatura saw the game was up, liquidated state assets and became the new rich. The Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party dropped one word from its title and soon regained power: Ferenc Gyurcsány, prime minister from 2006 to 2009, was the former president of the Communist Youth Organisation. In a world where nonagenarian Nazis who should have been hanged in 1945 are carried into court in oxygen tents, why is it an outrage for Hungary now to target Red murderers? Well, er, because the right commits atrocities, the left commits mistakes.

    Judicial activism is also being curbed by lowering the retirement age for judges from 70 to 62. The president of the Supreme Court requires at least five years’ Hungarian judicial experience, which eliminates the incumbent who instead has 17 years’ experience of going native in the European Court of Human Rights. Yet the biggest canard is that it is “undemocratic” for the government to gain influence within the Hungarian Central Bank. Why? Because elected representatives may overrule cronyism among the bonus-entitled classes – exactly what every European electorate yearns for in vain.

    The Hungarian constitution reflects an awakening of cultural and moral sensibilities, a revolt against Brussels-directed integration and PC impositions. It is the product of a highly civilised nation reclaiming its heritage and autonomy. It should be an inspiration to the rest of Europe, marinated in moral relativism and political passivity. As this noble documents states, “we have an eminent need of spiritual and intellectual renewal”. «

  11. Dear True Democracy,

    Against what? Jesus did not deal with politics saying in John 18:36 for instance: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

    Best regards,

    Stefan J. Bos


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here