- Title: EU Commission takes note of Hungary vote, says for government to deal with outcome
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FILE) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EU COMMISSION BUILDING EU FLAGS REFLECTION ON EU COMMISSION SIGN
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 12:47
- Keywords: EU Commission Hungary Vote migrant quotas referendum Orban Migrants
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00152GB32F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The European Commission said on Monday (October 3) that it took note of the referendum on migrant quotas in Hungary on Sunday and that it was up to Budapest to deal with the outcome.
Almost all Hungarians who voted in Sunday's referendum rejected the European Union's migrant quotas but turnout was too low to make the poll valid, frustrating Prime Minister Viktor Orban's hopes of a clear victory with which to challenge Brussels.
"If the referendum had been legally valid, our comment would have been that we take note of it. Since it was declared legally void by the Hungarian electoral commission, we can now say that we also take note of it. We respect the democratic will of the Hungarian people: both of those who voted and of those who did not," European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a regular news briefing in Brussels.
"We believe that it is for the Hungarian government to decide how to deal with the outcome of this national referendum," Schinas added.
Orban said earlier on Monday that he would amend Hungary's constitution to ensure it cannot be forced by the European Union to settle migrants.
The maverick right-wing premier came under heavy fire from the opposition after the vote, with the radical nationalist Jobbik party calling on Orban to resign.
Jobbik said Sunday's referendum, in which the government said quotas were rejected by 98.3 percent of voters but only 40 percent of eligible Hungarians took part, was a fiasco that made Orban look like a "jolly joker" in Brussels. At least 50 percent turnout was required to legitimise the result.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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