Hungary’s parliament on Tuesday narrowly rejected a plan by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to ban the resettlement of migrants in the country.
The move is a setback for the maverick leader that could weaken him in his fight against EU migration policies.
The far-right Jobbik party sealed the bill’s rejection by boycotting the vote. But it held out a lifeline to Orban by saying it would throw its support behind the ban if he scrapped a separate scheme allowing foreigners to buy residency rights.
Orban’s right-wing Fidesz party said its presidency would meet to discuss its next move. Backing down to Jobbik would be politically difficult, as Orban’s chief of staff has previously described its demand as blackmail.
Orban’s determination to keep out migrants and refugees, including by building razor-wire border fences.
However, analysts say that while the failure of the amendment is unlikely to weaken Orban at home as his party enjoys a strong lead in opinion polls.
Almost 10,000 Chinese as well as affluent investors from Russia and the Middle East,, havetaken advantage of the scheme to move to Hungary.
“We need to defend Hungary and the Hungarian people not only from the poor migrant but also the rich migrant, not only from the poor terrorist but also from the rich terrorist. The fact that Fidesz has not accepted in recent weeks the totally justified and clear proposal (to scrap the bond programme) proves that for Fidesz dirty money is more important than the real security of the country,” said Gabon Vona leader of opposition party Jobbik.
During the vote, Jobbik MPs held up a large banner that said: “Those who let in terrorists in exchange for money are the traitors.”