We Hungarian citizens, writers, are familiar with everyday life in our country and we also know the consequences of our government’s decisions. With increasing indignation we are observing the libellous attacks against our homeland in the global media. We know that claims concerning Hungary’s ”drift away from democracy” originate mostly from Hungarian intellectuals, writers, philosophers, musicians and journalists, who are well known in the West. What is not so well known in the West is that these intellectuals are affiliated with today’s political opposition and their goal is to destabilize our freely elected government.
For this reason it is imperative that we, the overwhelming majority of Hungarian intellectuals set the record straight. On the one hand, we are grateful for the concern expressed in the Western media for the maintenance of democracy in Hungary. On the other hand, we want to declare in no uncertain terms that it is outrageous to suggest that democracy is in danger in Hungary. What are in danger are the privileges of the post-Communist ruling class. You must know that Hungarians shed their blood for democracy, freedom and independence in 1956 and they still cherish and fully embrace them.
The Hungarian voters elected the present right-of-center government in 2010 with a landslide 2/3 majority. They did it to replace a corrupt post-Communist regime. Today’s conservative government is trying very hard to improve the social and economic conditions of the country, for which the previous socialist government is largely responsible. The present government has shown responsibility, it cares about the human rights of Hungarian minorities elsewhere and it definitely wants us to remain both a democracy and an integral part of Europe, which we were for over 1000 years.
The present government did make mistakes, all governments do, but still enjoys the support of the majority of the population, as was demonstrated by the marching of well over 100,000 Hungarians in their pro-government demonstration on January 21. Yes, the debt accumulated by previous governments is overwhelming and has to be paid. Yes, debt guarantees by IMF/CEB are needed. But still, the spreading of false accusations by the Hungarian opposition, while hiding behind the claim of ” being concerned about democracy” is outrageous. We do not want our future to be decided by lies printed in foreign papers, we want to decide the future of Hungary by using our ballot boxes.
We hope that truth will prevail and both the Western media and the Western public will help us to protect the good name and well being of our nation.
Presidency of the Hungarian Writers’ Association,
Presidency of the Hungarian Academy of Arts,
Presidency of the Batthyány Society of Professors