Several illustrious media of the international press expressed their opinions on the result of the Hungarian referendum on migrant quotas. Most articles emphasized Viktor Orbán’s failure and some even reported on the events among the leading articles. Index.hu collected some of them.
Guardian: Hungary’s refugee referendum not valid after voters stay away – “Orbán himself put a positive spin on the low turnout. He argued that while “a valid [referendum] is always better than an invalid [referendum]” the extremely high proportion of no-voters still gave him a mandate to go to Brussels next week “to ensure that we should not be forced to accept people we don’t want to live with in Hungary.”
BBC: Hungary PM claims EU migrant quota referendum victory – “Mr Orbán urged EU decision makers to take note of the result and said he would change Hungary’s constitution to make the decision binding.”
Telegraph: Hungary referendum: 98 per cent of voters say ‘no’ to EU migrant quotas – “Hungary has voted emphatically against accepting EU migrant quotas, exit polls suggest, in a cry of defiance against Brussels that is likely to cement the country’s status as the leader of a “counter-revolution” against the bloc’s central powers.”
CNN: Hungary voters reject EU migrant-resettlement plan, but low turnout invalidates results – “This is a piece of international PR,” said John Dalhuisen, the Europe director for Amnesty International. “This is international marketing. He’s selling himself as the ideologue of a radically different migration policy. You’d characterize (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel as being ‘let them come’ — he’s saying the solution to the refugee crisis, to the migration issues in Europe, is ‘let no one come.'”
Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Ungarn verweigern Abstimmung über Flüchtlingsquoten – Orbán’s invalid referendum on migrant quotas is a failure according to FAZ online. The Hungarian government started an unexampled campaign to mobilise voters, in which they connected the topic with criminalism and terrorism. From this point of view, the invalidity of the referendum means a sensitive loss for Orbán.
Spiegel: Orbán scheitert mit Referendum über Flüchtlingsquote – Hungary’s much debated referendum on migrant quotas ended up being invalid. The referendum was initialised by the right wing-conservative government. The long anti-strangers campaign and the assaults against the leaders of EU and Germany predestined the definite win of the referendum.
Le Monde: The referendum on migrant quotas ended with the win of “no”-s, but it turned out to be invalid because Viktor Orbán didn’t manage to mobilise enough people. Despite this, Orbán talked about “a great success”, while Jobbik asked him to resign.
Le Figaro: The referendum is invalid despite the win of “no”-s. 99,2% were against the quotas, but only 39,8% of the entitled voted, which makes the result invalid. However Viktor Orbán only paid respect to the first number. From an internal political view they believe that the weight of “no”-s could help Orbán along the way to the 2018 elections.
Le Point: The referendum on migrant quotas failed due to the non-appearances.
La Libre Belgique: The Belgian paper believes that despite the referendum being invalid Orbán is going to start a counter-attack.
Le Soir: There wasn’t enough voters to make the referendum valid but the majority of attendants were against the solutions suggested by EU.
Tanjug: The Serbian news agency reported on the Hungarian referendum among the leading articles. They dealt with Orbán’s evaluation separately and highlighted the change of the constitution.
RTS: The Serbian civil service radio and television reported on Hungary in a quite illustrious spot and emphasized the invalidity of the referendum.
Copy editor: bm