Viktor Orban.jpg
Viktor Orban
Photograph: EPA/NICOLAS ARMER

Hungary's fiercely anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday suggested that the European Union should expel "to an island" more than 1 million people who arrived during the 2015-16 migration crisis.

"All who arrived illegally should be rounded up and sent away. Not to other [EU] countries, but to places outside the European Union," Orban told the Origo news portal.

Orban referred to all those still waiting for their asylum claims to be resolved, who make up the vast majority of those who made it to the EU over the past year and a half.

"Until then they should be held in large camps outside the EU. It could be a large island or a part of the north African seacoast," he said.

Last year Orban emerged as the leader of the anti-immigration front within the EU.

Hungary was the first country to build a border barricade and ban migrants, including refugees, from entering its territory, with several other countries later following the example.

Budapest has legally challenged the EU plan to distribute approved refugees among member states, and on October 2 Hungary holds a referendum in which citizens will be asked to reject the EU refugee quota system in the future.

European countries affected by the migration crisis, those on the transit routes and the main destinations such as Germany, are holding a summit Saturday in Vienna to discuss measures aimed at controlling the flow of people.

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