Zoltan Kovacs, Hungarian government spokesman.
Zoltan Kovacs, Hungarian government spokesman. Credit: Jens Möller / Swedish Radio

Hungary to refuse asylum seekers despite Nordic demands

Hungary will not accept asylum seekers that are to be resettled among member states of the European Union, a government spokesman told Swedish Radio.

The remarks come about two weeks after Sweden, along with fellow Nordic nations Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland wrote a letter calling out Hungary for refusing to take in asylum seekers that are to be divided among EU states.

According to news agency AFP, the joint letter dated September 9 said Hungary's refusal was "a violation of the EU law and it is not acceptable." The letter called on EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos to "act promptly."

This week, though, a Hungarian government spokesman reiterated his country's unwillingness to accept asylum seekers who registered there first before moving on to other countries in Europe.

"We say that we are not going to take back anyone who went through the country last year because of the invitation that was coming from Germany, Austria och the Nordic countries," said government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs. "You can not punish Hungary for other countries' shortcomings."

Hungary will hold a national referendum on October 2, that asks voters whether the country should allow an EU quota system to resettle migrants among member states.

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