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Viktor Orbán blasts the European Union in uprising anniversary speech

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban giving a speech on 1956 anti-Soviet uprising anniversary on October 23, 2023.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban giving a speech on 1956 anti-Soviet uprising anniversary on October 23, 2023. Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AP
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The Hungarian Prime Minister compared EU membership to Soviet occupation. Hours later several thousand demonstrators took to the streets decrying his comments and policies

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Hungarian premier Viktor Orbán blasted the European Union on the anniversary of Hungary's 1956 anti-Soviet uprising on Monday by comparing Hungary's membership in the European Union to more than four decades of Soviet occupation of his country.

Viktor Orbán accused the EU of seeking to strip Hungary of its identity by imposing a model of liberal democracy that he said Hungarians reject.

“We had to dance to the tune that Moscow whistled. Brussels whistles too, but we dance as we want to, and if we don't want to, then we don't dance" stated the Hungarian PM in front of of a crowd gathered in Vesezprem.

Orbán, considered one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's only allies in the EU, had to face the opposition of thousands of citizens on the streets on Monday. A demonstration in Budapest criticised his government's policies and its relationship with Russia despite the war in Ukraine.

Demonstrators at the anti-government protest held in Budapest on Cold War era student uprising anniversary.
Demonstrators at the anti-government protest held in Budapest on Cold War era student uprising anniversary.AP Photo

The protest demonstrators marched down a central avenue in Budapest in opposition to the Hungarian PM and his government’s policies, as well as Hungary's continued relationship with Russia despite Moscow's conflict with Ukraine.

“Back then, the Soviet Union invaded Hungary, and today's Russia is demonstrating similar efforts at conquest, and we'd like to express our solidarity with Ukraine,” said demonstrator Katalin Beke.

Hungary blocked funds over Ukraine’s inclusion of Hungary’s OTP Bank on a list of international sponsors of the war.

Later, on 23 October, EU top diplomat Josep Borrell confirmed that there was still no agreement on releasing a €500 million tranche to help arm Ukraine. Borrell announced the lack of decision at a press conference in Luxembourg, European Pravda reported.

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