At the commemoration event traditionally held by the Socialist Party on the eve of the 23 October anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian revolution in Kaposvár, birthplace of the martyred late Prime Minister Imre Nagy, party chairman Bertalan Tóth emphasised: "When we talk about common values, we should forget about hatred and hostility towards each other, and think about things that connect us instead, like love, the shared love of our homeland, one of the main foundations of MSZP's politics.
“We seek values that connect rather than divide us. Beside the shared love of our country, we all value the principle that Hungarian citizens are entitled to the freedom of rights and opportunities, education, health care and the right to have a future. These are the things we need to protect, as they are being taken away from us,” he said.
In his speech the chairman argued that one can either love their homeland with a revolutionary passion, as did the 1956 freedom fighters, or love it giving up all oh one's earlier beliefs and vows for the hopeful of a future, as Imre Nagy did when he was head of state during the revolution, or one can love it by thoughtful and sometimes concerned reflection and consideration, as did Imre Nagy's Minister of State, the political theorist István Bibó. The one way one cannot love their country is by trying to exploit it for selfish reasons.
Chair of the MSZP Board Ágnes Kunhalmi said that the message of 1956 to the present is that the Socialists and the democratic opposition must fight for two fundamental goals, the restoration of democratic political rights and the democratic and social rule of law.
“We want to enforce freedom and equality together rather than against each other, therefore our core program is to create social democracy, provide adequate access to education, healthcare and housing, restore the right to labour strike as an actual right, create a new Labour Code that radically widens employee rights and provide a safe and reliable standard of living for pensioners,” Kunhalmi stressed.
“It is also important to fight for the autonomy of local governments and contribute to the preservation of the unity of the European Union, partly by stepping up against the forces that try to push Europe back into an earlier historical stage,” she added.
MSZP Somogy County chairman Gábor Harangozó said that those who came to attend the Socialists’ memorial service belong to a true community, a rock solid community founded on the shared values of democracy, freedom and equality. The members of this community are united by their faith and not by their interests. "We are standing here united, where there is hope and a will to end this deterioration," he said.
Chairman of MSZP Kaposvár Attila Pintér recalled that the party had been holding memorial events at Imre Nagy's Kaposvár statue every year since 2000, and since then they had succeeded in achieving that the local government name the square where the statue is situated after the martyr prime minister. He also noted that the square will be renovated next year, providing an even more dignified environment for the commemoration of the 1956 Revolution.
The speakers and the roughly 100 participants of the memorial event later walked to Kossuth Square in a torch-lit procession, where they published the so-called Imre Nagy Proclamation adopted at the MSZP Board meeting.
In the proclamation, they claim that Imre Nagy's life and death have a message for them, that is, for today's left-wing Democrats, in that they must stick to their principles and convictions, while "a system built on lies cannot escape its fate: inevitable collapse."
They also highlighted that the 1956 notions to end oppression, establish democracy, freedom of speech and press are very topical again in today’s Hungary. "We can only be worthy of the sacrifice of Imre Nagy and his allies and that of the Hungarian nation, if we do not abandon the goals they have fought for," they concluded.