A triumph of liberty over tyranny is how George W. Bush described Hungary on a visit to Budapest. He was paying homage to those who took part in the failed 1956 uprising against Soviet rule. Fifty years ago in October, thousands rose up against the Stalinist government and its supporters before resistance was crushed.
Bush said: “Fifty years later, the sacrifice of the Hungarian people inspires all who love liberty. Some of those who faced those tanks are here today, I had the honour of meeting three such gentlemen at lunch. I was proud to be in their presence.” The US president went on to say Hungary’s eventual success in ousting authoritarian rule was a shining example for Iraq to follow.
Earlier he laid flowers at a monument to the uprising outside parliament. Bush visited Budapest at the end of a flying visit to Europe for the annual EU-US summit. The Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, said he and Bush discussed calls to relax US visa rules. At the moment people from nine of the EU’s 10 new members – including Hungary – are excluded from the visa waiver scheme.