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Hungarian proposal could counter refugee ‘quotas’

Interview

The Hungarian government “is doing everything possible” to find an alternative to avoid compulsory refugee “quotas” approved by the European Union on September 23, Károly Kontrát, state secretary of Hungary’s Ministry of Interior, said today in an interview with state-owned all news channel M1.

Kontrát said Parliament is seeking alternatives to any system that would make Hungary responsible for taking a certain number of asylum seekers.

The EU approved a distribution system of refugees, under which 120,000 refugees arriving to the EU will be distributed among member states. Luxembourgʼs Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said that the word “quota” has been excluded from the agreement. According to news reports, under the agreement EU countries are expected to “voluntarily” accept refugees, and numbers recorded in the agreement are only suggestions. However, if a member state fails to accept the number of refugees stipulated, an infringement procedure can be launched against it.

Kontrát said the decision can be contested until December 4, and added that the Hungarian government would oppose the concept.

Kontrát reiterated that the “Hungarian position has been opposed to the quota system from the very beginning, and emphasizes that quotas offer no solutions, but that the Greek border must be protected.”

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on October 6 that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán ordered Minister of Justice László Trócsányi to prepare proposals on steps against the quota system, which will receive the support of all parties in parliament, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

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