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EU proposes refugee quota system

May 14th, 2015

A left-wing columnist accuses PM Orbán of anti-immigrant populism, as the Prime Minister calls for a Parliamentary debate on EU plans to redistribute refugees among member states. A pro-government commentator, on the other hand, believes that member states should make up their own minds about the scheme proposed by the European Commission.

On Monday, the Prime Minister suggested that the Hungarian Parliament should debate and decide about EU plans to introduce a quota system in order to redistribute refugees proportionally among EU member states. Earlier in his regular bi-weekly radio interview last Friday, he called the proposal absurd.

In Népszava, Tamás Rónay suspects that the Prime Minister’s proposal is a mere populist stunt through which he wants to legitimize and popularize his anti-immigrant vision. The left-wing columnist finds it controversial to contemplate tighter anti-immigrant laws in a country from which hundreds of thousands fled to seek refuge abroad after the failed 1956 revolution.

The EU has since 1993 failed to come up with a feasible framework to fight immigration,” Levente Sitkei opines in Napi Gazdaság. The conservative columnist thinks “the EU has settled hundreds of thousands of refugees in the name of misunderstood liberal principles”. Concerning the plan to redistribute refugees, Sitkei welcomes the fact that the EU now wants to face the issue of immigration and stresses that “we have a moral duty to treat refugees humanely”. He contends, however, that citizens and Parliaments of the member states themselves should have the final say about the proposal rather than the EU or the UN.

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