Protest organizer Zoltan Vajda delivered the following speech yesterday evening to demonstrators gathered in Hungary’s Kossuth square on the eve of German Chancellor Angela Merkle’s official visit to Budapest:
Fellow countrymen! European citizens! Good evening. Welcome.
Today we would like to speak about what our goals are. We want to ensure one another that there is hope. We want to show that we have strength. But first of all, let’s clarify a possible misunderstanding.
We do not believe that it is the job of the European Union or Angela Merkel to liberate us from this disease.
We are responsible for bringing down the Orban system.
And we will do so. Step by step we will beat back the oppressive system. And even as we beat it back, we will create those frameworks that will guarantee, that after sending Orban on his way, neither chaos nor anarchy will follow. But rather a European, modern new Republic based on Hungarian historical traditions.
Dear Madam Chancellor:
We need a kind of Europe where one doesn’t hear on a daily basis “this is not a subject for the telephone.” We need a Europe where the idea of nationalizing private pension funds does not even come up. Or depriving someone of private property. We need a Europe where it does not even occur to citizens that they need to fear the state. Because we are not afraid!
We know that you will not liberate us from the Orban system. However, we also believe that you and the European Peoples Party bear responsibility. We take European values seriously. We expect others to take them seriously, and for you to demand this if your fellow Peoples Party member, Orban.
- Would you submit a bill to the German parliament levying a special tax on a television channel that was critical of your government merely because it provides information about the outrageous enrichment of government members?
- Would you force public workers to disrupt the campaigns of your competitors?
- Would you allow your family, friends, and their business partners to live from taxpayers’ money?
But I can pose even simpler questions:
- Do you or members of your government steal?
- Do you doom civil organizations critical of you and your government?
- Did you build a stadium next to your house with diverted public funds?
No? Because we don’t like the family enterprise taking place here either.
We know it is our responsibility to bring down the Orban system. We are doing our part. We will build up a European Hungary. For this we will wind up the Orban system. However, what we expect from the European Union and from you madam Chancellor is that you not turn a blind eye to the deeds of Orban and his mafia government.
We decided through plebiscite that we want to be members of the European Union. When we joined the community, we got an opportunity to develop our country as well as freedom. The sources for this are provided by European Union taxpayers, a large part of which is provided by German citizens.
We are talking about thousands of billions of forints (tens of billions of euros). From this ambulance stations can be built, the subway can be renewed, free bypasses and other worthwhile projects can be made. But it is easy to steel this. No problem, it can be solved. We know a few mafia families who have perfected this.
Madam Chancellor! This is not a joke!
We are drowning in corruption. Of course, the solution is not to cut off EU money.
We don’t want for a single settlement to go without sewer. We want for (Prime Minister friend and Felcsut mayor) Lorinc Meszaros to build sewers for three times what they cost.
We don’t want to prevent kindergartens from being built. We want to prevent them from being built for HUF 400,000 (USD 1,500) per sqm as in Szekszard.
Unlawful matters that affect us affect European citizens. We expect three things from the European Union:
- One: force public tenders to be transparent
- Two: Create a EU attorney general’s office to prosecute the unlawful use of EU funds.
- Three: Strengthen the European Court of Human rights
Dear Mrs. Merkel!
We expect this from the European Union. Because the Orban system is rotten. But this country contains signs of Europe. At your meeting tomorrow do not forget that Hungary does not equal Orban.