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Hungary stands defiant in face of EU pressure: Orban hits back amid bitter Brussels battle

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Hungary is refusing to back down to Brussels in a continued row over its acceptance of immigrants.

In a bitter battle with the bloc Viktor Obran’s country has repeatedly refused to answer calls from the European Parliament to repeal laws tightening rules on asylum-seekers.

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In 2015 the country was the first to erect a razor wire fence along its border with Serbia.

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A year later, in 2016, Hungary held a referendum and voted overwhelmingly to refuse involvement in the migrants ”quota” system being considered in Brussels.

Under the programme all 28 member states would taken all allocated number of refugees.

The European Parliament on Wednesday condemned what it called a “serious deterioration” in the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said on Thursday the country will not budge.

Hungary will keep up tough laws on immigrants and the fence along its southern border, he said.

Janos Lazar told a news conference: “The resolution passed by the European Parliament yesterday contains issues that, in our opinion, the European Union or the European Parliament have nothing to do with.

“The Hungarian government will not satisfy the European Parliament’s request to repeal the legal and physical barriers at the border.”

Migration routes to Europe have currently been stopped in the Aegean Sea through the one for one migration deal with the EU and Turkey.

The £4bn deal is sending cash to Ankara to keep Syrian and Iraqis in their country, and gives the EU to option of sending them back across the water.

Libya is now the principal point of entry to Europe for African migrants.

This year The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says more than 45,000 people have reached Italy by boat from North Africa, an increase of over 40 per cent on the same period of 2016.

 

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