Hungary angers EU leaders with asylum referendum

Hungary has angered EU leaders and its neighboring countries with today’s referendum to oppose EU quotas on relocated asylum seekers.

As Hungarians take to the polls today to have a say in what Hungary does with mandatory European Union quotas for relocating asylum seekers, Martin Schulz, the European Parliament’s President has said that Viktor Orban is playing a dangerous game by holding the referendum, instead of accepting its 2000 or so allocated migrants under the proposed quotas.

The president of the European Parliament is accusing Hungary of playing a “dangerous game” by holding a referendum on whether to accept mandatory European Union quotas for relocating asylum seekers. Schulz said that the lack of solidarity being shown by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban challenges the legitimacy of European laws.

Nearly 8 million Hungarians are eligible to vote today in a referendum called by Orban’s government who has openly urged people to vote “NO” in answering to the question of “Do you want the European Union to be able to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of Parliament?”. It is still unclear whether the turnout will pass the 50%+1 threshold needed for validation.

Last year Hungary’s PM Orban angered its neighbors by laying out proposals to build a wall along its border with Serbia, which prompted Serbian Prime Minister Alexandar Vucic to say that “We don’t want to live in an Auschwitz”.

The Hungarian Referendum comes one week after the Vienna Summit on Refugees called by Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU Representatives Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Junker present as well as all leaders of South-European countries.

During the summit where Merkel and other Eu and regional leaders wanted to find solutions for the Balkan Refugee Route, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said that ‘if we can’t solve this problem, it calls into question the whole EU project‘, confirming fears that the refugee crisis could undermine the already fragile club trying to cope with economic recovery, xenophobic sentiment, Brexit and prospect of enlargement to the Balkans.

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