Hungarian prime minister describes migration as a 'poison'

Hungary will hold a referendum on the EU's migrant quotas in October

hungary, prime, minister, migration

Viktor Orbán. Image: Alastair Grant / AP/Press Association Images

The Hungarian prime minister has described migration as a 'poison' and suggested his country does not need a 'single migrant'.

Viktor Orbán was speaking in Budapest yesterday during a press conference with the Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, AFP reports.

"Hungary does not need a single migrant for the economy to work, or the population to sustain itself, or for the country to have a future," Mr Orbán said.

He criticised the efforts to create a common European migration policy, suggesting "whoever needs migrants can take them, but don't force them on us, we don't need them".

He added: "For us migration is not a solution but a problem [...] Not medicine but a poison - we don't need it and won't swallow it."

Mr Orbán is the leader of Hungary's right-wing Fidesz party.

He has become one of the most prominent critics of the EU's efforts to tackle the refugee and migrant crisis.

Hungary is due to hold a referendum on the union's migrant quotas on October 2nd.

Voters will be asked: "Do you want the European Union to be entitled to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of [parliament]?"

Hungary was one of the countries most impacted by last year's migration crisis, as tens of thousands of people passed through the country as they attempted to reach other European countries.

The government implemented a number of tough emergency measures to deal with the influx of people, including building a huge fence along its southern border. 

The government's response to the crisis has attracted some international criticism, including from the UN's refugee agency.