Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-014"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, we are, today, commemorating the uprising by the people of Hungary 50 years ago, when people rose up in desperation against a totalitarian dictatorship. We are commemorating the events of the autumn of 1956 today because what they did, they did for all of us. They did the idea of freedom, justice and democracy proud. They stood up for human dignity and filled it with renewed vigour, continuing to demonstrate it even when they were crushed by tanks. They went into exile for all of us, suffered for all of us, thus to be borne in remembrance for all of us over the years and the decades. The heroes of the Hungarian revolution are heroes for us all. They are heroes for Europe. We are commemorating them today because we are indebted to their legacy. We are paying homage to their achievement because we – especially here in the European Parliament – are bound to one another by the pledge that there must never again be such a challenge to freedom and human dignity in Europe. Their life stands before us like a relief showing the great heights that humanity is capable of reaching when we are compelled to defend the values and the dignity of Europe. We bow down before them. What began with the first mass demonstration in Budapest on 23 October 1956 and ended when Soviet troops were sent in on 4 November was a revolution for freedom. The participants in the Hungarian uprising quite rightly spoke of revolution, or . By contrast, the Communists who were in power at the time accused them – wrongly – of mounting a counter-revolution, or . The difference is not simply a small fragment of a Hungarian word. The difference is enormous. It is the difference between freedom and serfdom. The people of Hungary acted for our values in Europe, since the freedom for which the heroes of the Hungarian uprising of 1956 strove and died is a part of the European identity. Our aims are the aims of those people in Hungary back then. Nothing could better illuminate the potency of these events than the fact that, today, we are commemorating the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and that we have with us in this House freely-elected Hungarian MEPs. For me, this will always be the miracle of my generation. Hungary’s freedom has become the freedom of Europe, and Europe’s freedom remains the guarantor of Hungary’s freedom. Allow me just to express my great appreciation, in the light of today’s events in Budapest and in Hungary, to the Hungarian Members of this House, irrespective of the groups to which they belong, for the fact that they have made it possible for us to agree on a common text, a joint resolution. This shows us that we share common principles that bind us together irrespective of the disagreements of everyday politics. I ask that, in the altercations in Budapest, no side should act disproportionately, that the demonstrators should not receive a disproportionate response, since we are linked by common values, namely the values of freedom, which also link us to 1956, as well as linking us in the modern day, 2006. Let us always, in every disagreement, put this sharing of values at the heart of things."@en1

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