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Sep 13, 2016

Luxembourg foreign minister says Hungary should leave EU

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Hungary, says his Luxembourg counterpart had "long left the ranks of politicians who could be taken seriously" and was "patronising, arrogant and frustrated"

Luxembourg's foreign minister has called for Hungary to be suspended or even expelled from the European Union because of its "massive violation" of EU fundamental values, it has been revealed today..

The BBC reported that Jean Asselborn cited the Budapest government's treatment of refugees, independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press as his reasons for the comments.

"Hungary is not far away from issuing orders to open fire on refugees," he suggested.

Hungary responded by saying Asselborn "could not be taken seriously".

EU leaders meet in Slovakia on Friday to discuss the Union's future, and Asselborn's interview with German daily Die Welt is likely to inflame passions ahead of the summit.

The EU could not tolerate "such inappropriate behaviour", he said, and any state that violated such basic values "should be excluded temporarily, or if necessary for ever, from the EU''. It was "the only possibility to protect the cohesion and values of the European Union,'' he said.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, quickly hit back, saying that his Luxembourg counterpart had "long left the ranks of politicians who could be taken seriously". Asselborn was a "frivolous character", he said, adding that he was "patronising, arrogant and frustrated".

Hungary joined the EU in 2004 and while the European Union can reject or delay a candidate from joining, it is not thought to have the power to expel an existing member state, BBC.co.uk writes today.

A referendum takes place on October 2 when Hungarians will be asked to decide on whether to permit the EU to impose a plan for the mandatory resettlement of migrants. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has strongly criticized the EU's plans to relocate 160,000 migrants across the bloc and his government has campaigned vigorously for a No vote.