More than 90 percent of Hungarians who participated in Sunday’s referendum have rejected the European Union’s “refugee distribution” plan—setting the stage for a dramatic clash in Brussels which could cause the EU to split.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s victory has however been soured by a low turnout, which needed to be above 50 percent to be binding.
If the turnout is below 50 percent, the government will still claim victory and press ahead with measures to prevent the “distribution” of the nonwhite invaders—who were invited to Germany by chancellor Angela Merkel.
The question asked of voters was: “Do you want the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary even without the approval of the National Assembly?”
Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen has already announced that the government has “received a political mandate to protect the country from Brussels.”
Gergely Gulyas, vice president of Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party, said he expected a turnout of around 45 percent, but that the overwhelming “no” vote means that “only powerful nation states can form the foundations of an European Union.”
Legally, the referendum is non-binding, but in practical terms, the consequences are likely to be far-reaching.
If, as expected, the Hungarian parliament refuses to take in any of Merkel’s invaders, then the EU is likely to punish Hungary harshly.
This is initially likely to take the form of extensive financial penalties, but most likely Hungary will refuse to pay. This, or other political developments, could lead to Hungary’s expulsion from the EU.
If that happens, other Eastern European nations will probably follow suit, and the Visegrad 4 countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Poland) are likely to emerge as a new “Europe of nation-states,” opposed to the federal vision of the current French and German governments.
The “former” Communist Party, now called the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), called for a “yes” vote.
Complicating Orbán’s looming fight with Brussels will be increasing domestic political pressure. The Hungarian nationalist party Jobbik, which had reluctantly backed Orbán in the referendum, said in its official reaction that the low turnout meant that Orbán had “taken an irresponsible gamble that he seems to have lost.”
Jobbik spokesman Ádám Mirkóczki told media that the referendum was not more than a $20 million poll, “the results of which everyone already knew” without any money being spent.
Jobbik spokesman Ádám Mirkóczki.
Meanwhile, thousands of nonwhites are still streaming up the “Balkans route,” despite Merkel’s supposed “deal” with Turkey to halt the invasion.
Thousands of the invaders are bottled up on the Serbian side of the Hungarian border, even as Hungary builds a second fence behind the first one which already straddles the border.
The Hungarian government allowed 15 invaders per day to apply for asylum in that country—with almost all being instantly rejected and put back across the border after being fingerprinted. As a result, many are trying to break through the Hungarian fence to get to the welfare handouts of Germany.