Thursday 10 November 2016

Hungarian Parliament Rejects Plan To Ban Refugee Resettlement


Hungary's parliament has rejected a plan to ban the resettlement of migrants in the country in a rare defeat for its right-wing prime minister.

Viktor Orban had argued that a constitutional amendment was needed after a referendum saw 3 million Hungarians rejecting EU quotas stipulating how many migrants member states must accept.

But in a rare parliamentary defeat, his proposal won only 131 votes in the 199-seat parliament, just short of the necessary two-thirds majority of 133.

The far-right Jobbik party sealed the bill's rejection by boycotting the vote.

But it held out a lifeline to Orban by saying it would throw its support behind the ban if he scrapped a separate scheme allowing foreigners to buy residency rights.

Orban's right-wing Fidesz party said its presidency would meet to discuss its next move.

Backing down to Jobbik would be politically difficult, as Orban's chief of staff has previously described its demand as blackmail.

Orban's determination to keep out migrants and refugees, including by building razor-wire border fences, has angered his fellow European Union leaders and complicated their task as the EU struggles to cope with an influx of 1.4 million people since the start of 2015, many fleeing conflicts like the war in Syria.

Orban had said the amendment was needed to honour October's referendum.

He said that even though the referendum was not legally binding because of low turnout, it gave him a strong political mandate to stop Brussels imposing the measure.



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