EU Refugee Quotas are ‘Dead,’ Fico Says After Hungarian Ballot

  • Slovak Prime Minister Fico holds EU’s rotating presidency
  • EU interior ministers will meet to discuss migrants Oct. 13

The European Union’s plan to impose mandatory quotas on its members to host refugees is “dead” following Hungary’s referendum on the matter, said Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who holds the bloc’s rotating presidency.

QuickTake Europe’s Refugee Crisis

Fico, who won a third term in March general elections on an anti-immigrant campaign, has been one of the most vocal leaders denouncing efforts led by Germany to force the EU’s 28 members to share the burden of hosting the more than 1 million refugees that have arrived in the bloc since last year.

Joined by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who was bolstered by a referendum on the EU’s quota plan in his country on Sunday, Fico said he expected EU interior ministers to begin seeking a compromise solution on refugees at a scheduled gathering on Oct. 13. More than 98 percent of those who voted in Hungary’s migrant referendum rejected the quotas, although too few took part for the ballot to be binding.

“Manadatory quotas are politically dead,” Fico said in Bratislava Friday after meeting Orban. “We’ll do anything we can so that an alternative is born during our presidency.”

Orban said that he’ll propose a change to the Hungarian constitution that would be “EU compatible.” He also called for the dismantling of temporary border controls within the trading bloc.

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