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Hungary considers passing law that would make offering food to refugees a criminal offence


Hungarys government is looking to pass a law that would make it a criminal offence to offer food to refugees,a senior politicianhas said.

If approved in its current form criminal penaltiescould be imposed ongroups accusedof supporting or financing illegal immigration.

As a result those offering food or legal advice orprinting leaflets with information for asylum seekers, could be guilty of an offence.

State secretaryCsaba Domotorsaidthatthe government wanted parliament to pass the law as soon as possible.

The country’s right-wing prime minister, Viktor Orban, who was recently elected for a third term, is also looking to get the constitution amended to stop EU countries from moving asylumseekers to Hungary indefiance of European Union(EU) migration policy.

Mr Orban has publicly opposed an EU scheme which would see 160,000 refugees from Syria and Eritrea relocated to Hungary from Italy and Greece, where migrant camps are overcrowded.

In power since 2010, Mr Orban has campaigned on a platform of fierce hostility to immigration for years – policies that have put him at odds with the EU, which funds Hungary with billions of euros everyyear.

The legislation is part of the government’s campaign against GeorgeSoros, a Hungarian-born US financier known for funding liberal causes.

Mr Soroswas vilified in Mr Orban’selection campaign, which took a strong anti-immigration stance, popular with voters in rural Hungary. He has accused Mr Soros and the NGOs funded by him of a plot to undermine Hungary’s Christian culture by flooding it with immigrants, an allegation which Mr Soros has repeatedly denied.

Mr Orban risks triggering a crisis in his Fidesz party’s relationship with the EU’s centre-right parties over laws they charge infringe civil liberties, an ally of Germany’ chancellor warned.

Agencies contributed to this report



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