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Ex-PM Gyurcsany's speech of lies that plunged Hungary into crisis

Baranyai Gábor
2023.09.18. 14:25
Ex-PM Gyurcsany's speech of lies that plunged Hungary into crisis

„We lied in the morning, day and night.” Seventeen years ago, ex-PM Ferenc Gyurcsany's speech of lies was made public, recalled Hungary's state secretary for international relations Zoltan Kovacs in a Facebook post on Sunday morning.

The speech has led Hungary to experience its worst political crisis since the fall of Communism.


The speech itself was delivered on May 26, 2006 in Balatonőszöd, where the Hungarian Socialist Party's (MSZP) parliamentary group held a closed session, shortly after the coalition government of the Socialists (MSZP) and Social Democrats (SZDSZ) had won the elections.

In his speech, then PM Ferenc Gyurcsany often used obscene language to describe the previous one and a half years of his government, admitting that the old-new coalition government had only won the election by lying, by hiding real data and their planned austerity measures, essentially by cheating, while it brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

The audio was made public on September 17, 2006. It was delivered on a CD to the headquarters of the Hungarian Radio by an unknown courier wearing a helmet. Ex-PM Gyurcsany's remarks have caused shock-waves across the whole country.

After the speech was leaked, Mr Gyurcsany was forced into explanations. He said he wanted to abandon the culture of lying, adding that he would not resign.

Seventeen years ago, demonstrations demanding the resignation of Ferenc Gyurcsany began at Budapest's Kossuth Square and in several rural towns. Mr Gyurcsany's refusal to resign, however, has led to a series of mass protests that lasted weeks. On Mr Gyurcsany's orders, police used unlawful violence on the streets of Budapest to intimidate protesters and those demonstrating against the left-wing government: police have launched cavalry charges against mothers and elderly people too, shooting out people's eyes, hitting demonstrators with collapsible batons and often even dragging diners out of restaurants.

The date of September 17 is also linked to another event: one year ago, shortly after another historic defeat for the Left, Ferenc Gyurcsany (now in opposition as the leader of the Democratic Coalition (or DK) - ed.) announced with no small amount of cynicism that DK would form a shadow government under the leadership of his wife, Klara Dobrev.

Cover photo: The lies of former Hungarian PM Gyurcsany have triggered mass protests nationwide, as people's anger erupted with elementary force (Photo: Attila Kovacs)

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