- Title: Hungary set to reject Brussels' migrants plan in referendum
- Date: 2nd October 2016
- Summary: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (OCTOBER 2, 2016) (REUTERS) HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING DETAIL OF PARLIAMENT BUILDING DETAIL OF OLD BUILDING IN CITY CENTRE ENTRANCE TO VOTING STATION/REFERENDUM BALLOT ON DISPLAY ON DOOR WOMAN CASTING BALLOT VARIOUS OF ELECTION COMMITTEE AT VOTING STATION CHECKING INFORMATION AND GIVING BALLOT TO WOMAN WOMAN CASTING BALLOT VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CASTING BALLOTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) STUDENT FROM BUDAPEST, JORDAN PETROCZ, SAYING: "I think every country have their own right to decide who to invite to their country, and who not (to invite). And I think Hungary is a small country with a lot of problems, with a lot of people (living) in poverty, and I think we should at least deal with them." VOTERS CASTING BALLOTS DETAIL OF BALLOT BOX MAN CASTING BALLOT (SOUNDBITE) (English) DOCTOR FROM BUDAPEST, GNULA KNALL, SAYING: "It was for me very important to decide who will be settled to Hungary. And it should be the Hungarians' decision, and not a foreign power decision." TRAFFIC ON BRIDGE OVER DANUBE
- Embargoed: 17th October 2016 11:58
- Keywords: Hungary referendum migrants migrant crisis refugees Syria Iraq Afghanistan
- Location: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- City: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00152B9Y6F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: An overwhelming majority of Hungarians are expected to reject the European Union's migrant quotas in a referendum on Sunday (October 2), which should boost Prime Minister Viktor Orban's standing at home and embolden him in his battles with Brussels.
Orban, who has been in power since 2010, is among the toughest opponents of immigration in the EU.
Over the past year he has sealed Hungary's southern borders with Serbia and Croatia to migrants, placing a razor-wire fence along the border and thousands of army and police to patrol it.
He has repeatedly linked mass immigration from the Middle East to an increased risk of violent attacks and crime in EU societies - and the anti-migrant rhetoric has gone down well with many Hungarians.
"I think every country have their own right to decide who to invite to their country, and who not (to invite). And I think Hungary is a small country with a lot of problems, with a lot of people (living) in poverty, and I think we should at least deal with them," said Jordan Petrocz, a student from Budapest.
"It was for me very important to decide who will be settled to Hungary. And it should be the Hungarians' decision, and not a foreign power decision," Gnula Knall, a doctor from Budapest, said after casting his vote.
In a letter published in a daily newspaper on Saturday (October 1), Orban again urged Hungarians to send a message to the EU that its migration policies were flawed and posed a threat to Europe's security.
But while Budapest says immigration policy should be a matter of national sovereignty, human rights groups have criticized the government for stoking fears and xenophobia, and for mistreating refugees at the border.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East crossed Hungary on their way to richer countries in Western Europe, and this year alone Hungary recorded some 18,000 illegal border crossings.
Around 1,500 people demonstrated in Budapest on Friday (September 30) against the referendum.
Opinion polls show support for a rejection of EU migrant quotas of more than 80 percent among those who say they will vote, but they also indicate the turnout might not necessarily reach the 50 percent of Hungary's 8.3 million voters required for the poll to be valid.
Voting will close at 1700 GMT on Sunday. Preliminary results are expected after 1800 GMT.
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