Hungary should back mandatory migrant quotas or consider leaving the EU, the French President has said.
As Hungarians continue to resist EU-imposed quotas on how many migrants they should accept, French President François Hollande told Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban: “States that don’t respect European values should ask if they belong within the EU,” according to The Times.
His attack comes as Orban accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of “moral imperialism” for helping impose the quotas on Europe.
“We are Hungarians — we cannot think with German minds,” Mr Orban said, adding: “Hungary should have the right to control the impact of a mass migration. The Hungarian people don’t want this.”
Meanwhile, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has vowed to break the new EU law, saying that his country will turn away 800 migrants due to be sent from Italy and Greece. “Slovakia is not going to respect mandatory quotas,” he said.
Poland, however, has capitulated to German pressure and backed the quotas. Observers in the country are now saying this will be the final nail in the coffin for the beleaguered government, which faces almost certain defeat in next month’s parliamentary elections.
Beata Szydlo, leader of the opposition Law and Justice Party and likely future Prime Minister, described the decision as “scandalous”.
As resentment grew among Eastern European leaders, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council who hails from Poland’s ruling party, begged for unity:
“The most urgent question we should ask ourselves tonight is how to regain control of our external borders… Otherwise it doesn’t make any sense to even speak about common migration policy. What is at stake is also the future of Schengen, the sense of order in Europe and the common European spirit.”
“The greatest tide of refugees and migrants is yet to come. We need to end the policy of open doors and window… Today we are talking about millions of potential refugees trying to reach Europe, not thousands,” he added.