Hungary stems migrant flow, but issue remains big in EU vote
By PABLO GORONDI Associated Press
May 10, 2019 12:21 AM
FILE – In this Saturday, April 7, 2018, file photo, a man walks by an anti-migration billboard from the Hungarian government, on a street in Budapest, Hungary. With a campaign centered on stopping immigration, Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party is expected to continue its dominance in the European Parliament election at the end of May. While Hungary has been practically closed to immigrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa since Prime Minister Viktor Orban had border fences built in 2015, he continues to warn voters about the threat of a “migrant invasion” that would put at risk Europe’s Christian culture.
Darko Vojinovic, File
Hundreds of migrants a day streamed through the southern Hungarian village of Asotthalom on their way to Western Europe in 2015. Today there are almost none. That doesn’t mean the issue has gone away.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing Fidesz party have campaigned almost exclusively on anti-immigration policies and it remains a hot topic in this village too.
Mayor Laszlo Torczkai, who is critical of government corruption and some of Orban’s economic policies, still appreciates the border fence that Orban built to stop migrants from entering the country. Torczkai says: “On this we agree — migration must be stopped.”
Fidesz could win as many as 14 of Hungary’s 21 seats in the European Parliament. No other party in Hungary is expected to get more than three.