The President of Hungary has appealed for his country to unite and overcome its internal divisions. Laszlo Solyom used the beginning of commemorations marking the 50th anniversary of the 1956 uprising to appeal for national unity. Heads of state from across the World are in Budapest for two days of ceremonies. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was first to arrive for the opening, a gala evening at the opera. He was quickly followed by Hungary’s close EU partners along with more than 100 other delegates.
However, it is true to say that not all Hungarians are singing from the same song sheet. The country has been rocked by political unrest recently. Socialist Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is hoping the occasion will help him move on from the turmoil recently prompted by the admission that he lied to win April’s General Election.
However, that hope is already in jeopardy. The conservative opposition party, Fidesz, says it plans to boycott some of the ceremonies to avoid rubbing shoulders with the Socialists. Gyurcsany’s party is seen by some as the successor to the pro-Soviet regime of the past.