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Luxembourg Wants To Kick Hungary Out Of Europe For Its "Inhuman" Treatment Of Refugees

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Unlike Germany (maybe in 2015 if not so much 2016), the Hungarian government under Prime Minister Orban, has been vocally and vehemently opposed to taking in refugees from conflict areas such as Syria since Europe's refugee crisis began. As early as September 2015, Hungary constructed a fence along its border with Serbia and blocked a passage from Croatia one month later. Budapest also introduced new laws punishing illegal entry and vandalism of the border fences, which led to almost 3,000 convictions in fast-track trials, most of which resulted in expulsion orders.

 

Needless to say, Europe - desperately seeking to keep up its humanitarian facade even as Merkel's polls crashed as a result of precisely Germany's pro-refugee policy - has been furious at Hungary for its lack of hypocrisy, and has gone so far as to demand it be kicked out of Europe for its "treatment" of refugees. Earlier today, Luxembourg's foreign minister announced, Jean Asselborn, told German Die Welt that Hungary should be suspended or even expelled from the EU for its approach to refugees. In the statement coming just days before leaders meet to discuss the future of the bloc, the minister claimed that migrants are treated “nearly as bad as animals" in Hunary. Furthermore, Asselborn criticized Hungary for the way it has dealt with the refugee crisis, saying that "such behavior should come with consequences."

 

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Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.

 

“Anyone who, like Hungary, builds fences against refugees from war or who violates press freedom and judicial independence should be excluded temporarily, or if necessary for ever, from the EU,” Asselborn was quoted by AP, adding that it's the only way to “preserve the cohesion and values of the European Union.” It is unclear if random acts of terrorism and suicide bombings are among those particular values, or if, for example, Angela Merkel's party losing dramatically in an election in her home state reflects Europe's "cohesion."

 

Asselbron then escalated the rhetorical drama saying refugees in Hungary were treated “nearly as bad as animals.” Asselborn then said things could quickly get even worse in the country, saying that anyone hoping to breach Hungary's “ever longer, ever taller” fence may be met with death. “Hungary is not far from an order to shoot refugees,” Asselborn declared.

 

It is not clear what the Luxembourgian was more concerned about: the shooting of the refugees, or that Hungary is ready to do this without express permission from Brussels.

 

As for Luxembourg's welcoming of refugees, Asselborn said in March that the EU's second-smallest country by area, which has a population of just 543,000 people, had a capacity to house 4,000 asylum seekers. At that point, 3,000 had already been resettled in the country, the Luxemburger Wort reported. The foreign minister's Tuesday statements come after a July report from Human Rights Watch outlined the “cruel and violent treatment” of refugees who cross into Hungary illegally. It added that men, women, and children have been “viciously beaten and forced back across the border.”

 

As RT notes, Asselborn was speaking just days before 27 EU leaders meet in Bratislava to discuss the future of the bloc. Under current rules, a nation can be suspended from the EU following a unanimous vote of the rest of the bloc. Asselborn has called for the rule to be reconsidered so that a unanimous vote would no longer be necessary. He was envisioning the "rogue" behavior by Hungary.

 

Unfortunately for the Eurocrat, the foreign minister’s view was soundly rejected by a number of fellow EU politicians. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that "this is not an agreed position in Europe.” "I can understand, looking at Hungary, that some in Europe are getting impatient... however, it is not my personal approach to show a European member state the door," Steinmeier said at a news conference in Riga.

 

Meanwhile, demonstrating the "cohesion" of Europe, which with every passing day is getting torn further apart, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called Asselborn “an intellectual lightweight” who “lives a sermonizing, pompous and frustrated life … just a few kilometers from Brussels.

 

It got even better: “The comments are strange, coming from Luxembourg, the home of ‘tax optimization’ and [EU Commission President] Jean-Claude Juncker, who also talks about burden-sharing,” Szijjarto wrote in an email to Hungary’s MTI news agency. “But we all know that simply means making Hungary bear the burden of others’ mistakes. The Hungarian government refuses — the Hungarian people will give their opinion [in a planned referendum] on October 2,” he added.

 

As we reported previously, Hungary will hold a government-sponsored referendum on October 2, in which it will seek public support for rejecting EU quotas to resettle refugees among member states. “Migration will have great consequences in Europe and in this situation we, Europeans haven’t even decided what we want. Our real problem is Brussels, not the migrants,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in recent remarks. “It’s only logical, that if we invite the refugees, they will come.”

 

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Hungary prime minister Viktor Orban

 

Ironically, the biggest casualty of the European refugee tsunami is Angela Merkel, whose popularity in Germany has come crashing down due to her liberal, yet highly unpopular immigration policies, and there is an all too real danger her political career may be over not as a result of Grexit or Brexit, but due to 1,000,000+ Syrian refugees. And yet, she still refuses to close Germany's borders.

 

At least the Hungarians are learning; and as Prime Minister Viktor Orban hinted in recent remarks, hopefully so is the rest of Europe. "I hope with the Hungarian referendum we set an example for the rest of Europe and after the EU election next spring a new elite will lead the EU institutions instead of the current elite of nihilists, including Juncker, Verhofstadt and Schulz.

 

Since democracy in Europe died long ago, we don't share Orban's optimism.

 

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