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The Latest: EU leader sees danger in Hungary migrant vote

October 02, 2016 - 3:51 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary - The Latest on Hungary's referendum to oppose mandatory European Union quotas for accepting relocated asylum seekers (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

The president of the European Parliament is accusing Hungary of playing a "dangerous game" by holding a referendum on whether to accept mandatory European Union quotas for relocating asylum seekers.

Martin Schulz said in an interview published Sunday that Hungary would have to take in about 2,000 migrants under the quotas.

Schulz told Germany's Funke newspaper group that the referendum called by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's challenges the legitimacy of European laws.

He also suggested that countries that fail to show solidary with the rest of the EU on the migrant issue may see their financial support from the bloc cut.

Schulz called on European leaders to make clear to Eastern European countries that "solidarity isn't a one-way street," but rejected calls to eject Hungary from the EU.

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10:50 a.m.

Hungarians are voting in a referendum called by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government seeking support for its opposition to any future, mandatory European Union quotas to relocate asylum seekers.

Nearly 8.3 million citizens can cast ballots Sunday between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. (0400-1700 GMT). "No" votes supporting the government position are expected to be in the great majority, though there is uncertainty whether turnout will exceed the 50 per cent plus-one-vote threshold needed to be valid.

The referendum's question is "Do you want the European Union to be able to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary even without the consent of Parliament?"

Polls show that the relentless campaign urging citizens to "send a message to Brussels" while associating migrants with terrorism has increased xenophobia in Hungary.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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