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Thousands participate in pro-EU, anti-Russia march

The recently formed Momentum Mozgalom (Momentum Movement) held a pro-EU, anti-Russia march attended by thousands in Budapest during yesterdayʼs May 1 national holiday, which was also the 13th anniversary of Hungary joining the EU. Momentum has announced it will run as a political party in the 2018 general election.

(Photo: MTI / Zoltán Balogh)

Momentum — which surfaced five months ago with its successful signature collection campaign for a referendum on Budapest’s since abandoned Olympics bid — promised to publish its program by October 15, and to run in the elections to be held next year, Hungarian online news portal index.hu reported.

According to on-field reports, the May 1 march was quiet and peaceful, except for occasional chanting of pro-EU and anti-Russia and anti-governing Fidesz party slogans. Estimates said thousands of people marched through Andrássy út to Hősök tere (Heroes’ square), where leaders of Momentum gave speeches.

Momentum speakers condemned the government’s “Stop Brussels” national consultation campaign as “hate-mongering”. Momentum’s Tamás Soproni said he was “angered” about the campaign and the government. He said he believes that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wants to “link Hungary to Russia”, and it is all politicians’ joint responsibility to prevent this from happening.

Edina Potyondy stressed during her speech that Hungary has developed in the past 13 years thanks to funds from the EU, while Orbán and Fidesz “act as teenegers: If anything happens there is somebody else to blame, but pocket money comes good anytime”, according to index.hu. She called on to all the Hungarian youth studying abroad to come home and help “kickstart” Hungary.

András Fekete-Győr, the president of Momentum, said that while Orbán “wants to stop Brussels”, his new party would like to “kickstart Hungary and catch up with Brussels”. He added that Orbán wants to “close down the country and undermine the press because he is afraid that his incompetence will be revealed and that development [in the country] is not due to him”, index.hu reported.