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Further repercussions of the quota referendum

October 5th, 2016

A liberal commentator contends that following the 2 October referendum, PM Orbán will no longer be considered a grave threat to the EU. A pro-government columnist thinks that the referendum will serve as a reference point in EU debates on migration.

The government may mislead Hungarians and claim victory, but it cannot fool the outside world, Szabolcs Panyi contends on Index. The liberal commentator interprets the referendum results (see BudaPost October 4) as proof that the majority of Hungarians do not support PM Orbán. As a result, Mr Orbán will no longer be considered a major threat to the EU, Panyi suggests. The Prime Minister’s international prestige will weaken further if right-wing populist parties and leaders in Europe and the US are defeated, he suggests.

In Magyar Idők, Miklós Novák thinks that the Hungarian referendum will not change anything in the EU, but will nonetheless be an important reference point in future debates on migration. Novák contends that even if the referendum had been valid, it would not have forced the EU to take a U-turn in its migration policy. Despite the fact that turnout was below the validity threshold of 50 per cent, the pro-government columnist thinks that it is absurd to suggest that the government was defeated at the referendum, ‘since it was supported by 98 per cent of the voters.’

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