Hungary Launches Media Campaign Attacking EU Migrant Quotas


Hungary has launched a vitriolic media campaign attacking the EU's plan to distribute 160,000 asylum-seekers among member states, and warned it would file a legal challenge against the quota scheme later Thursday.

Full-page messages appeared in national newspapers with the headline: "The quota increases the terror threat!" against a black background.

Other messages read: "An illegal immigrant arrives in Europe on average every 12 seconds"; "We don't know who they are, or what their intentions are"; and "We don't know how many hidden terrorists are among them".

The ads are part of a nationwide campaign which will also see billboards bearing the slogan "Let's defend the country" go up in the coming days.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Thursday Hungary was joining Slovakia in mounting a legal challenge to the EU's asylum-seeker distribution plan.

"Hungary is today filing a challenge to the European Court against the EU's decision regarding mandatory quotas for the distribution of migrants," Orban said in a speech in Budapest.

"It is not enough to protest, action must be taken," he added.

The announcement came a day after Slovakia filed its challenge.

Under the EU's quota system, both Budapest and Bratislava are expected to take in around 2,300 migrants each.

In September, Hungary had voted against the scheme together with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania at an EU meeting, revealing a deep split between western and eastern bloc members.

Orban has long taken a hard line against the migrants, saying that the influx of so many Muslims posed a security threat and threatened the continent's Christian identity.

"As long as this government is breathing, there won't be any quota, or any (failed asylum seekers) taken back," he said in November.

Nearly 860,000 migrants have landed in Europe so far this year, with many fleeing violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hungary was a key transit country for people trekking along the western Balkan route to reach northern Europe, until it sealed its southern borders with razor-wire fence to the migrants in October.

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