Friday, April 28, 2017
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Hungary schedules vote on EU refugee quotas for October

After border fence and tough laws, referendum is the latest step in PM Orban's fight against EU refugee policies.

Hungary has announced that it will hold a referendum in October on European Union plans to relocate refugees and migrants among member states, a scheme fiercely opposed by the country's right-wing government.

Tuesday's announcement is the latest one of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's steps to intensify his fight against the EU's refugee policies.

"As president of the republic I decree that the referendum will be held on October 2," President Janos Ader said in a statement on Tuesday.

A massive pre-referendum campaign has been launched.

Orban's government voted against the EU plan to share 160,000 refugees and migrants around the 28-nation bloc via mandatory quotas.

Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia also rejected the mandatory quotas, but the scheme was passed by a majority of member states in a vote in September.

EU trying to 'redraw Europe's identity'

Hungary has joined Slovakia in filing a legal challenge within the EU against the plan, which was meant to ease pressure on Greece and Italy, the main refugee entry points into the bloc.

Orban has said that the EU has no right to "redraw Europe's cultural and religious identity".

Voters will be asked: "Do you want the EU to prescribe the mandatory relocation of non-Hungarian citizens to Hungary without the approval of the Hungarian parliament?"

Budapest says that the EU's plan - which has been slow to get going - violates its national sovereignty and that "terrorists" might enter the country disguised as refugees.

As of July 1, fewer than 2,800 people have been relocated, according to EU data. Hungary has made zero places available but is meant to take in 1,294 people.

Orban has long had a testy relationship with Brussels with critics saying that his shake-up of Hungarian institutions from 2010 has undermined democracy.

However, his stance during Europe's refugee crisis, which has seen more than a million people undertake a perilous journey to the continent, has caused particular anger.

About 400,000 migrants and refugees passed through Hungary in 2015 before the government sealed off the southern borders with razor wire and fences in the autumn.

The authorities also brought in tough new laws punishing illegal entry and vandalism of the fences.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Week in Pictures

North Korea marks

Europe's late spring freeze