By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)– Hungary has commemorated the crushed 1956 Revolution against Soviet domination amid increasing tensions between the government and opposition ahead of next year’s elections.
Speaking in front of what officials said were “hundreds of thousands of people” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused the former communists-turned Socialists of having sold the country to foreign speculators and the international financial industry.
“They were the ones and are always the ones who are willing to hand over Hungary to the colonizers,” he told a large crowd on Budapest’s Heroes Square.
Orban also defended controversial policies that the European Union says reduced democratic check and balances, and forced mainly foreign-owned energy firms to reduce bills for households by as much as 20 percent.
Elsewhere in Budapest, near the banks of the Danube River, the opposition united for the first time to bring together the Socialist party and smaller groups, including the Democratic Coalition (DK) and an alliance led by former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai.
“We will show the regime that despite our differences we haven’t forgotten that the enemy is Viktor Orban, not each other,” said a spokesman for the Together 2014 party linked to Bajnai.
Unity, speakers said, is crucial to defeat the increasingly autocratic Orban and his allies in the upcoming elections, expected in April or May.
However Orban warned his ruling Fidesz party’s “forces are ready for battle, just like we did in 2010.” He told supporters to prepare and “finish what we started in 1956,” a clear reference to the Revolution.
Orban, 50, has come under international pressure to distance himself from the far-right Jobbik party, which won nearly 17 percent of the votes in 2010 and has become the third largest political force in this EU nation.
Hungarian State Secretary Zsolt Németh told BosNewsLife earlier this month that Fidesz party won’t seek a coalition with Jobbik, whatever the outcome of the 2014 elections. “I cannot speak for the government, but as a member of Fidesz I can say that will not happen,” he said.
Jobbik leader Gabor Vona has accused both the government and opposition of not doing enough to prevent Hungary becoming the “doormat of the EU.”
Wednesday’s commemorations came just days after Béla Biszku became the first Hungarian former communist leader to be charged with war crimes for his controversial role in the 1956 Revolution.
Prosecutors said Biszku, 92, was a member of the Communist Party’s Temporary Executive Committee, which set up militias to shoot at mainly unarmed protesters, killing dozens of people.
The forces opened fire at crowds in November and December of 1956, in Budapest and in the northern town of Salgotarjan, where 46 men, women and children were shot dead, according to investigators.
Biszku has denied wrongdoing.
Communism collapsed in Hungary in 1989, ending decades of Soviet rule when devoted Christians and dissidents were among those being targeted by the regime.
BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals from especially, but not limited to, (ex)Communist nations and other autocratically ruled states).</em>
(BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals from especially, but not limited to, (ex)Communist nations and other autocratically ruled states).
(BosNewsLife, the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians, is ‘Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals’ since 2004).
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