- Title: Voting begins in Hungary referendum on European Union's migrant quotas
- Date: 2nd October 2016
- Summary: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (OCTOBER 2, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF POLLING STATION HUNGARIAN AND EUROPEAN UNION FLAGS HANGING ON OUTSIDE OF POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PREPARING TO VOTE WOMAN LEAVING VOTING BOOTH AND PUTTING BALLOT PAPER IN BALLOT BOX POLLING STATION WORKER STAMPING PAPER AND HANDING IT TO VOTER WHO ENTERS VOTING BOOTH WOMAN PUTTING BALLOT PAPER IN BALLOT BOX (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) VOTER, ERZSEBET VIRAG, SAYING: "I voted (no) because there are a lot of poor people in our country too and if more poor people come in, we will be even poorer and have to work even more, and we cannot sponsor the other poor ones." BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (OCTOBER 1, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF POSTERS (Hungarian) READING: "LET'S NOT RISK IT, VOTE NO!' VARIOUS OF POSTER FROM SPOOF PARTY, TWO-TAILED DOG, (Hungarian) READING: "DID YOU KNOW THAT SINCE THE START OF THE MIGRANT CRISIS THE AVERAGE HUNGARIAN HAS SEEN MORE BLUE POSTERS THAN MIGRANTS?" POSTER FROM SPOOF PARTY, TWO-TAILED DOG, (English) READING: "HI BRUSSELS, WE STILL LOVE YOUR MONEY!"
- Embargoed: 17th October 2016 07:22
- Keywords: Hungary referendum migrants migrant crisis refugees Syria Iraq Afghanistan
- Location: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- City: BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00152B9B9J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hungarians took to the polls on Sunday (October 2) in a referendum on whether to accept the European Union's migrant quotas.
Voters are expected to reject the proposition 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, and over the past year he has sealed Hungary's southern borders with a razor-wire fence and thousands of army and police border patrols.
While 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, this year Hungary recorded around 18,000 illegal border crossings.
One Budapest resident, Erszebet Virag, said an acceptance of the quotas would put too much strain on public finances.
"I voted (no) because there are a lot of poor people in our country too and if more poor people come in, we will be even poorer and have to work even more, and we cannot sponsor the other poor ones," she said.
In a letter published in a daily newspaper on Saturday, 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.
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 indicate turnout might not necessarily top the 50 percent required for the poll to be valid.
Voting began at 0400 GMT and closes at 1700 GMT. Preliminary results are expected after 1800 GMT.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None