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Hungary calls European Union court's refugee ruling 'appalling'

07 September, 2017, 01:34 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Kaczynski the leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party speaks during a news conference in Warsaw Thomson Reuters

At the height of the crisis, in 2015, European Union leaders forced through a vote to relocate up to 160,000 refugees from Italy and Greece to new homes spread around the European Union member states.

In response to the migration crisis that affected Europe in the summer of 2015, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision for the relocation from those two member states to other EU states, over a period of two years, of just 120,000 persons in clear need of worldwide protection.

"That mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate".

The continuing crisis peaked in 2015.

The Commission's chief spokesman, however, denied a report that the executive would propose a new round of 40,000 relocations.

It's not clear what consequences there will be, if any, for member states that refuse to take in migrants.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called migration the "Trojan Horse of terrorism".

Slovakia and Hungary challenged the decision. "This decision jeopardizes the security and future of all of Europe".

The European Council's decision in September 2015 provided for 120,000 people "in clear need of global protection" to be relocated from Italy and Greece to other EU member states.

Hungary and Poland have refused to accept any of the refugees, while Slovakia has taken in only a few. Poland supported the plan, but later strongly opposed it when the right-wing PiS government came to power. The formerly Communist nations in eastern Europe claimed they would struggle to absorb mainly Muslim refugees from Syria. "Now let's supersede the old Dublin rules".

The argument comes after months of increasingly hostile political debate between Eastern European countries and Brussels over its handling of the crisis.

Militia and security officials recently told The Associated Press that Libya's struggling government in Tripoli, backed by Italy, also has paid militias implicated in trafficking to choke off the flow of migrant boats.

Hungary has not accepted a single asylum seeker since the measures were introduced two years ago.

She said that "leaders such as (Hungarian Prime Minister) Viktor Orban can not demand more money for border protection, while blocking the reception of refugees from Greece and Italy".

However, Avramopoulos said there is a "misunderstanding" if the public believes member states should have taken in by now more than 100,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy - when in fact they have admitted just under 28,000.

The agreement provided for the relocation of up to 160,000 people across member states, but only about 25,000 have been transferred so far. Hungary was asked to take 1,294 asylum seekers, Slovakia 802.

"The real battle is only just beginning", Szijjarto said, vowing that Hungary would continue to challenge any European Union attempt to resettle migrants in Hungary without its approval.



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