Thousands of migrants stuck at Hungarian border with country likely to vote 'no' in refugee resettlement referendum

Migrants wait at the border. Credit: ITV News
  • Video report by ITV News Europe Editor James Mates.

As Hungary prepares to vote in Sunday's referendum on the EU's resettlement of refugees in the country, thousands of migrants remain in limbo on the border with Serbia, waiting for a chance to pass the razor-wire fence.

Just 15 people per day can ask Hungary for asylum, and as a result many are trying to make their own way across by cutting holes in the fence.

In a bid to keep migrants out, Hungary is building a second fence behind the first, and as well as police patrols, mayor of border town Ásotthalom, László Toroczkai, is employing private citizens to help "protect Europe from Muslims".

Mr Toroczkai, a member of far-right party Jobbik, believes the "European nations are in danger" from an influx of migrants.

"I think the European nations are founded of [sic] Christianity, and I don't want to change it... I think there is a place for Islam, but not in our country, not in Hungary," Mr Toroczkai explained.

László Toroczkai, mayor of Ásotthalom, seeks migrants who have crossed border with his South African hunting dog. Credit: ITV News

A "no" vote in the referendum is widely expected, a sentiment echoed by Viktor Orbán's right-wing government.

"Nobody has a right to decide who shall live together in a country without the consent of the Hungarian Parliament," said spokesperson Zoltán Kovács.

If Hungarians reject the EU's resettlement of refugees within their borders, the country faces massive fines from Brussels - £212,000 per refugee it turns away - the threat of which is having little impact on the country.