NEWS

UNHCR asks Hungary to abandon ‘politics of fear’

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The United Nations' refugee agency says Hungary's intention to hold a national referendum on the European Union's plan to relocate refugees undermines a "common European approach" to the issue.

The UNHCR is urging Hungary, which has built border fences to stop the migrant flow, to "shun the politics of fear on humanitarian issues" and "share responsibility, rather than trying to find ways to shift it" to other EU countries.

Hungary and neighboring Slovakia have sued the EU about its intention to share 160,000 migrants arriving in overburdened Greece and Italy.

Hungarian Justice Minister Laszo Trocsanyi said Friday that the referendum announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban is a matter of national sovereignty, adding that the EU was "stealthy" in trying to reduce member states' authority on the quotas.

Trocsanyi said that the referendum could be held as soon as five months from now if it is approved by the National Election Office and the courts. [AP]