A UN General Assembly vote on a non-binding agreement to support those nations with the largest refugee populations has 181 supportive votes, three abstaining nations (Dominican Republic, Eritrea and Libya) and two dissenters, Hungary and the United States. I understand the reasons for US opposition, but why does Hungary oppose the agreement?

I imagine the answer hinges partly on their economy, and partly on some of the same factors that contribute to Hungary being among the most Eurosceptic EU members, namely certain Hungarian views on foreign nations or peoples. However, one would expect such factors apply to any number of other countries, especially in the age of the alt-right. So what explains Hungary being so anomalous in this respect?

1 Answer 1


You're mostly right. The corruption in Hungary's government and resulting instability has caused many foreign companies to pull out of Hungary, leaving a crisis of unemployment and under-employment in a time when Hungary is deep in debt. The country just approved a law allowing its citizens to work insane hours without pay in order to keep their jobs; this highly-unpopular move would be almost totally wasted if more people who were willing to work for less (refugees) entered the country.

So no, they're not any nastier than other Eastern-European countries, they just put all their political eggs in one (very fragile) basket, and now have nearly zero flexibility.


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