Hungary votes on EU refugee quotas referendum

Hungarians on Sunday began voting on a referendum over European Union plans to relocate refugees and migrants among member states.

The right-wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has fiercely opposed the EU plan, which seeks to share 160,000 asylum seekers around the 28-member bloc via mandatory quotas. Hungary has not accepted a single person allocated under the scheme.

In the run-up to the vote, opinion polls showed vast support for a rejection of the EU proposal among those who said they would vote. They also suggested, however, that turnout might not necessarily top the 50 percent required for the poll to be valid.

In an opinion piece published on Saturday, Orban said Hungarians had “a duty” to help his government fight the failed “liberal methods” of the “Brussels elite”.

“Mass migration without control means a real threat. It endangers the peaceful and safe European way of life,” he wrote in the Magyar Idok newspaper.

Voting begins at 04:00 GMT and closes at 17:00 GMT. Preliminary results are expected after 18:00 GMT.

The question put to Hungarians is: “Do you want the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary even without the approval of the National Assembly?”

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