Protest held in Budapest against Orban’s immigration policy

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 07:36 GMT, May 20, 2015 |

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban decried EU proposals for migrant quotas as “bordering on insanity” yesterday (Tuesday), and defended his recent calls for the possible reintroduction of the death penalty.

Orban made a combative appearance before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where lawmakers challenged the centre-right leader over his increasingly tough anti-immigration stance. Orban, whose Fidesz party is losing ground to Hungary’s far-right, eurosceptic, anti-immigrant Jobbik party, said he had also launched a public consultation to ask Hungarians what they thought of immigration.

As Orban spoke in Strasbourg, hundreds of people protested against his policies in central Budapest, saying his ideas were deeply flawed and were planting the seeds of hatred in what they saw as an already xenophobic society.

Afghan refugee Ali Nawrozi, who has lived in Budapest for three months, told the crowd he was outraged at links suggested by Orban between immigration and terrorism.

Protesters ended their march at the Danube embankment where they sat down and folded their questionnaires into paper boats and lit candles in remembrance for those migrants who lost their lives at sea as they sought a better life in Europe.