Hungary’s referendum on migrants in the international press

The Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban  argues migrants also represent a security threat because some Islamist radicals have made their way into the EU by posing as refugees. (WSJ)

The 2nd October referendum follows what has turned out to be a highly successful political script for Orban once already. In the spring of 2015, the government had initiated a nonbinding “national consultation” on “immigration and terrorism.” The questionnaire mailed to 8 million citizens urged them to agree with, for instance, the view that “mismanagement of the immigration question by Brussels may have something to do with increased terrorism.” (Foreign Policy)

“We lose our European values and identity, the way frogs are cooked in slowly heating water,” Orban said Monday. “Quite simply, slowly there will be more and more Muslims, and we will no longer recognize Europe.” (USA Today)

the referendum might open the door to a cold breeze in the corridors of the Berlaymont (Head Office of the European Commission). Like Brexit, by organizing this referendum and more importantly by hypothetically rejecting it, Hungary would open a Pandora’s box for other Eurosceptics like Czech Republic ad Slovakia to mimic Hungary’s posture (Budapest Times).

On the need for some of kind of permanent refugee relocation system, the commission is stubborn, for now. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos struck a conciliatory tone on the referendum. “We are there to listen to the verdict of the people of Hungary, always with full respect,” he stated, but continued to trumpet the commission’s long-term goals. (Newsweek)


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