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- Hungarian politician, chairman of Fidesz
Budapest (AFP) - Hungary will hold a referendum on whether to accept mandatory EU quotas for migrants, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Wednesday, protesting that Brussels has no right to "redraw Europe's cultural and religious identity."
"The government believes the decision about the mandatory relocation quota cannot be taken away from the Hungarian parliament," Orban told reporters, without disclosing a date for the nationwide ballot.
"Apart from the Hungarian parliament no one else can decide," Orban said, speaking in parliament.
He said the referendum will ask voters: "Do you want the EU to prescribe the mandatory relocation of non-Hungarian citizens to Hungary without the approval of the Hungarian parliament?".
"We cannot make above the heads of people, against the wishes of European people, decisions that seriously change their lives, and the lives of future generations," Orban added.
"The quota could redraw Europe's cultural and religious identity. Neither Brussels nor any other European body is authorised to do that."
Orban's government voted against an EU plan last September to distribute 160,000 asylum-seekers among member states under a quota system, but the scheme was nonetheless approved.
In December Hungary joined Slovakia in filing a legal complaint against the plan, which would see Hungary take in 2,300 migrants.