Anti-EU Rebellion Continues – After Brexit, Hungary’s Turn To Hold Referendum

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Jul 06 2016
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Emboldened by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Hungary is the next nation to hold a referendum, albeit a less disastrous one. President Janos Ader declares – “As president of the republic, I decree that the referendum will be held on October 2.” The referendum is to decide whether to accept mandatory EU quotas for relocating migrants.


As Chancellor of German Angela Merkel was happily welcoming and taking selfies with refugees, Hungary was one of the earliest EU countries that closed its borders as thousands of migrants and refugees used it as the transit country to gain access to Austria and Germany. First, Hungary sealed its border with Serbia, followed by Croatia in October 2015, forcing Croatia to direct migrants to Slovenia.

Hungarian President Janos Ader

Hungary’s bold action had won applause from the British, who later voted to leave the EU in a Brexit referendum held on June 23. Now, the Hungarians, under Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government who opposes plans to relocate a total of 160,000 refugees across the bloc by using “mandatory quota”, are trying to send a message to the EU that “enough is enough”.


For months prior to closing its borders, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had complained about the failure of Greece, the migrants’ initial entry point, in controlling the human flow. His repetitive calls for multinational European effort to intercept refugees at the Greek border had fallen on deaf ears in Brussels.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban

As EU was engaged in more rhetoric and zero comprehensive plans to deal with the flow of migrants, Hungary was quick to complete a razor-wire fence along the 216-mile border. The measures were popular at home but criticised by human rights groups. Hungary, along with Slovakia, has already launched a court challenge against the EU plan, which would see relocations over two years.


As more than 1-million migrants and refugees arrived in the EU in 2015 alone, mostly by sea, Hungarian PM Viktor Orban described the quotas set by EU as “illegal and unreasonable”, saying they “could redraw Europe’s cultural and religious identity”. Although Orban’s government voted against the EU’s plan, it got bulldozed and was approved by a majority of EU members.

EU Migrant Crisis - Hungary Closed Border - September 2015

In the coming referendum, the Hungarian people will be asked whether they want to accept any future European Union quota system for resettling migrants. Approved by Hungary’s Supreme Court – Curia – the question will be: “Do you want the European Union to be entitled to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of parliament?”


Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Sziijarto, said – “Brussels must be stopped, we must put an end to the violent immigration policy that is contrary to the will of the European people. One of the biggest problems of the EU is that the European political elite are pursuing a policy which completely disregards the opinion of the European people and often goes against their will.”

Border Fence between Serbia and Hungary

Apparently, Hungarians were angered by EU’s change to asylum rules that would require member states to accept a quota of refugees, or pay a penalty for them to be housed elsewhere. As anti-EU sentiment skyrockets, Antal Rogan, Orban’s cabinet chief, reveals today that Hungary has doubled its 10,000 troops patrolling its southern border with Serbia.


Hungary has also stepped up its anti-immigration measures – as of this month, a new law has taken effect which allows police to send back to Serbia illegal migrants detained within eight kilometres (five miles) of the border. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrogantly shrugged aside the Hungary referendum.

Hungarian Troops Mobilized To Fence Out Migrants

Still, Hungarian diplomats believe it would be very difficult for the European Commission and Angela Merkel for that matter, to ignore the outcome of the referendum, which the diplomats expect to resoundingly reject mandatory quotas. The results of the referendum might not be sufficient to trigger a similar Brexit, but it would certainly encourage other EU nations to demand more controls over their border.


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One must question why the exodus of migrants, primarily because of the government. As such, EU should have the policy of mandatory taking over and manage those countries where those migrants come from. Don’t you think this would be the best solution to regional and world peace.

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