MPs reject Orban anti-refugee bill
Hungary’s parliament has rejected an attempt by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to block the settlement of refugees. His ruling Fidesz party failed to attract the two extra opposition votes necessary for a two-thirds majority in parliament. The bill had sought to rebuff an EU-set quota scheme that would relocate 1,294 refugees in Hungary. It was the latest move in Mr Orban’s anti-EU and anti-migrant drive, say correspondents. But he was thwarted by the anti-immigration Jobbik party, which normally would have been viewed as a natural supporter of the bill. Jobbik had demanded Mr Orban scrap a cash-for-residency bond scheme allowing wealthy foreigners to buy special state bonds for €300,000 giving them the right to live in Hungary. Jobbik argued the immigration ban should apply to all foreigners. Mr Orban refused, calling the move “blackmail”. This is the second setback for Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s relentless anti-migrant campaign in a matter of weeks, say correspondents. Mr Orban called the vote in parliament after a divisive referendum on 2 October, again over the EU’s 2015 resettlement scheme to relocate 160,000 refugees across the bloc. Of those who voted, 98% - or 3.3m voters - supported Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban’s call to block the quotas. But only 40.4% of voters cast valid ballots, short of the required 50% threshold. Nevertheless, he declared victory and immediately called the constitutional vote.