Referendum in Hungary sees huge majority against mandatory migrant settlement

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© European Parliament
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and Martin Schulz President of the European Parliament.

HUNGARY voted in a referendum on October 2 which rejected EU migrant quotas but despite a massive anti vote only 43 per cent of the electorate turned out.

There is no doubt that Hungary has been one of the most vociferous voices against mandatory migrant quotas and last year took the decision to close the borders with Croatia and Serbia in order to stop the flow of migrants and refugees en route to other parts of the European Union and the current right wing government is determined to keep migrants out of the Country.

As the actual vote did not attract the magic 50 per cent of the registered number of voters, it does not automatically become enshrined in law although Prime Minister Viktor Orban is claiming victory especially as he argues that more people voted to keep out the migrants than voted to actually join the EU.

Whilst opposition leaders were delighted that this was not a mandated decision, the government intends to move forward to pass a law to reject the 1,294 asylum seekers imposed upon Hungary under the quota system and no doubt this will cause further disagreement with the Union authorities especially as Hungary has already challenged the EU over the settlement policy in court with a hearing due for December of this year.

Assuming that the government does change the constitution in order to stop the settlement of migrants, it is possible that neighbouring, former communist states could be tempted to follow suit.

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