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20th Jul 2018

EU should kick out Hungary, says Luxembourg minister

  • Asselborn: Expelling Hungary would be "the only possibility to preserve the cohesion and the values" of the EU. (Photo: Council of the EU)

Hungary should be excluded from the EU, Luxembourg's foreign minister Jean Asselborn has said.

Ejecting Hungary is "the only possibility to preserve the cohesion and the values" of the EU, he said in an interview to German daily Die Welt, published on Tuesday (13 September), three days before a EU leaders summit about the bloc's future without the UK.

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"We cannot accept that the basic values of the European Union are massively violated," he said.

He said any state that "builds fences against war refugees, or who hurts press freedom and independence of judiciary, must be excluded for the EU temporarily or for ever if needed".

In Hungary, he said, refugees are "treated as wild animals".

He added that Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, has "put the EU in trouble" by showing the world it cannot apply at home the values it defends abroad.

Asselborn, a Social Democrat and the longest-serving foreign minister in the EU, said the bloc could not accept "such misconduct".

He said it would be "helpful" if EU rules could be changed to allow the suspension of a member state without unanimity.

Currently there is no clause that allows the expulsion of a member state.

A country's voting rights can be suspended in case of "serious and persistent breach" of EU values. The decision requires unanimity from other member states.

Asselborn said that today, Hungary would "have no chance" of joining the EU.

At the end of August, Orban announced that Hungry would erect a "more massive" fence at its borders to stop migrants coming in. A first one was built last year at the borders with Serbia and Croatia.

 Orban, a strong critic of EU migration policies, has warned many times that migration will destroy Europe's identity.

Referendum

"Europe will no longer be recognisable" if it lets in many Muslim migrants with a higher birth rate, he said again to Hungarian MPs on Monday.

Orban has organised a referendum on migration that will be held on 2 October. Voters will be asked if they "want the European Union to be entitled to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of parliament”.

On Monday, the leader of Hungary's far-right Jobbik party, which in the past has supported his government, said Orban would have to resign if turnout to the referendum is low.

A 50 percent turnout is necessary to validate the vote.

"You hope to score political points with this game of hazard which could end up hurting the entire country," Gabor Vona told Orban in parliament.

"If the referendum is invalid, you have to resign because you led Hungary into a battle you lost."

Hungary steps up campaign on migration referendum

Hungary's government has unveiled six billboards linking the migration crisis to terrorism and crime in an effort to win backing for its referendum on the EU's migration policy.

Orban spins migrant vote result, as EU celebrates

Hungarians have rejected xenophobia with their resounding no-show to Viktor Orban's referendum on Sunday, according to European politicians. But the prime minister claims the vote has validated his battle with Brussels.

Analysis

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As Sebastian Kurz's government takes over the helm of EU-policy making for the next six months, Austrian MEPs from opposing sides weigh in on the EU's youngest prime minister's possible influence on the continent's future.

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