Former Hungarian president László Sólyom kept the promise he made to residents of Komárno on August 21, 2009 when he was not allowed to enter Slovakia to attend the unveiling of the Hungarian King Stephen I statue, based on a decision of former prime minister Robert Fico’s government, the TASR newswire reported.
“I'll be back,” said Sólyom a year ago when he had to turn around halfway across the bridge separating the Slovak city of Komárno and Komárom in Hungary.
Sólyom chose to cross the bridge this year on Sunday August 22 rather than August 21 (the date in 1968 when Warsaw Pact troops, including Hungarians, invaded the former Czechoslovak to quell political unrest) and entered Slovakia without any problems. He was visiting Slovakia as a private person to participate at a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of Hungarian King Stephen I.
Apart from the town's representatives, Sólyom was welcomed by approximately 500-600 people gathered at the statue. At the beginning of the ceremony, both Slovak and Hungarian national anthems were played. In his speech – in Hungarian – the former president looked at King Stephen I (also known as Saint Stephen) from a historical point of view and he mainly pointed out his positive relations with other nations.
Sólyom, however, also mentioned the newly introduced Hungarian legislation on dual-citizenship which according to him "will expand the freedom of the members of the (Hungarian) nation, and if somebody wishes to, it will enhance his or her tie to their mother country".
In his speech he stressed that the satisfactory and final solution of the position of Hungarian minorities abroad cannot be reached without a change of values coming from the neighbouring countries. "However, Hungary also has to change its stance towards neighbours," he stated.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Aug 2010 at 14:00