Political News

The Latest: Hungary far right wants tougher anti-migrant law

Posted October 18

— The Latest on Europe's response to massive influx of asylum-seekers and migrants (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

Hungary's far-right Jobbik party says it will only support the government's constitutional amendment opposing the mass settlement of migrants if it also bans a disputed plan offering residency permits to foreigners buying a special state bond for 300,000 euros ($330,000).

Jobbik president Gabor Vona says that his party wants "to protect Hungary from all kinds of settlements."

Vona's announcement could make it harder for Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party to secure the two-thirds majority needed in the legislature to approve the amendment.

Plans to amend the constitution were announced by Orban after an Oct. 2 referendum against any future European Union plans to relocate asylum-seekers. The referendum was invalid due to low turnout but 98 percent of the valid votes supported the government position.


3:45 p.m.

Officials have put the death toll in the April 2015 migrant shipwreck at between 750 and 800 people, following autopsies on the remains retrieved from inside the vessel.

That figure is in line with survivor estimates of between 700 and 800 victims. Only 28 people survived the April 18, 2015, shipwreck, the deadliest known migrant tragedy.

Government official Vittorio Piscitelli said Tuesday that a more precise number can be known only after further examination of the remains, "to substitute the numbers with names." Many remains were badly decomposed by the time the wreck was raised from the seabed earlier this year.

Two-thirds of the dead were between the ages of 20 and 30 and one-third were adolescents. There was one child, a 7-year-old boy. Most were from sub-Saharan African nations.


2:40 p.m.

A French court has rejected a request by aid groups to delay the closure of the migrant camp in Calais.

French authorities are expected to clear out the 6,000 to 10,000 migrants from the camp, also known as "the jungle," in the coming weeks, and then dismantle it by the start of winter. The migrants are being relocated around France or deported.

Several aid groups filed an emergency request last week to postpone the closure, arguing that authorities aren't ready to relocate its residents. A Lille court rejected the request Tuesday, according to Pierre Henry of aid group Terre d'Asile.

Charity groups warn that many of the migrants don't want to stay in France and may set up camp elsewhere to continue trying to cross the English Channel to Britain.


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