PM Viktor Orbán at the 25th anniversary of the Pan-European picnic near Fertõrákos

25th anniversary of the Pan-European picnic

August 19, 2014

The Pan-European picnic that eventually led to the fall of the Iron Curtain was celebrated with a family day on the Hungarian side of the border on the 25th anniversary of the August 19, 1989 event and with a conference in the nearby town of Sopron.

Unlike on the 20th aniversary that was attended by German chancellor Angela Merkel among other dignitaries, the 25th anniversary could only see politicians of the Hungarian governing party, including PM Viktor Orbán.

He reiterated that his government will continue what he call freedom fight and he was of the view it was not a good idea to implement in Hungary solutions that work well in the West.

On August 19, 1989, thousands of people got together near the northwestern Hungarian town of Sopron, along the Austrian border, for a pan-European picnic, organised by Hungary’s democratic opposition parties and Otto von Habsburg’s pan-European movement.

The Hungarian authorities opened the border for three hours for the occasion and this led to the flow of hundreds of East Germans to the desired West. The picnic proved a turning point in history that eventually led to the raising of the Iron Curtain.


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