Hungary's Orban raises concerns over Cameron's demand on EU migrants

Conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday said he was concerned that his British counterpart David Cameron's plans to limit welfare benefits for EU migrants could discriminate against Hungarian citizens.

Speaking after talks with Cameron on Britain's demands for EU reforms in four areas, Orban said he agrees with three of the proposals but warned that imposing strict conditions on benefits for EU migrants could disadvantage Hungarian job seekers. 

"We aren't migrants in the United Kingdom. We can apply for work anywhere in the EU," Orban said at a joint press conference following his talks with Cameron.  

He said the Visegrad Group - Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - will seek to forge a joint position that may be acceptable to Britain.

There are several hundred thousand workers from the Visegrad nations in Britain who, Orban said, pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

Cameron said he is "completely in favour" of free movement of labour within the European Union, but that the British welfare system was attracting too many EU migrants.

He said the two leaders had "made great progress" on the areas where Britain is seeking reform: competitiveness, sovereignty, social security and economic governance.

"I'm confident, that, with goodwill, with creative thinking, we will find good solutions," Cameron said.

Cameron has promised to renegotiate the terms of Britain's EU membership before holding an in-out referendum by the end of 2017.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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