Hungary has ruled out resubmitting a law to ban the resettlement of migrants after parliament narrowly rejected the plan this week. Speaking on state radio on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his government will now fight the European Union’s migrant quotas in Brussels. The far-right opposition Jobbik party sealed the bill’s rejection by boycotting the vote. It offered support only if the government scrapped a separate bond scheme that allows foreigners to buy residency rights. In October, an overwhelming majority of Hungarians voted in a referendum to reject EU quotas stipulating how many migrants member states must accept.
Hungarians voted on Sunday in a controversial referendum on whether they want to accept EU migrant quotas. The latest polls suggest that the majority of those who do vote will reject the quotas but it appears likely that voter turnout will be less than 50 percent, meaning the vote won’t be valid. Opposition parties have been urging their supporters to stay away in protest. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has urged voters to reject the EU’s demand which aims to relieve some of the migration burden from Greece and Italy’s shoulders. Orban, who has been in power since 2010, has been linking migration to terrorism and says migrants threaten Hungary’s Christian culture. He is among the toughest opponents of immigration in the EU, and over the past year he has sealed Hungary’s southern borders with a razor-wire fence and thousands of army and police border patrols. Hundreds of thousands of migrants have passed through Hungary in their determination to reach richer EU states such as Germany but very few have actually remained there. This year Hungary recorded around 18,000 illegal border crossings. Orban’s hardline approach on migration has won allies in Central Europe. Eastern Europe’s ex-communist states, now in the EU, are opposing a policy that would require all EU countries to take in some of the hundreds of thousands of people seeking asylum in the bloc. While Budapest says immigration policy should be a matter of national sovereignty, human rights groups have criticized the government for stoking fears and xenophobia, and for mistreating refugees on the border.
Hungarians have voted to reject the EU’s migrant quotas in a referendum, however, the turnout was below the 50% threshold to be valid, according to an opinion poll from Nezopont think-tank. Gergely Gulyas an MP from the ruling party said that exit poll data suggested voter turnout will be around 45%, and that 95% of those who did vote rejected the mandatory quotas. Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party are some of the strongest opponents of immigration in the EU. As the migrant crisis erupted in the last year the government decided to seal its borders with a razor-wire fence.
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Thousands of people in Budapest protest against upcoming referendum in which Hungarians are poised to reject the EU's troubled refugee quota plan, potentially further boosting the European clout of fiercely anti-migrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban.