Open Society Foundations Withdraws Hungary After Orban's 'Repressive' Anti-Soros Crackdown

Leroy Wright
May 15, 2018

The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose popularity is based in particular on its tough policy towards Muslim migrants, declared Soros an enemy of Hungary.

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"Faced with an increasingly repressive political and legal environment in Hungary, the Open Society Foundations are moving their Budapest-based global operations and staff to the German capital, Berlin", the group said in a statement.

"The Foundations will pursue all available legal avenues to defend the fundamental rights that are threatened by the legislation", OSF said in the statement, vowing to continue the organisation's work in Hungary through funding from the German capital.

The "Stop Soros" package was "one of the most important questions of the election, Hungarians voted for it... what we said we would do, we will do", Orban said Monday on a visit to Warsaw.

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Ramin Settodeh , New York bureau chief for Variety , reported that he overheard one woman say "it's disgusting" as she left. Actors (also) culpable", said American entertainment reporter Roger Friedman , while another who left tweeted , "Gross.

"It has become impossible to protect the security of our operations and our staff in Hungary from arbitrary government interference", said Patrick Gaspard, OSF president in Tuesday's statement. Soros is a USA billionaire and philanthropist who was born to a Jewish family in Hungary in 1930. Foreign funding for activities related to migration would be subjected to a 25 percent tax.

Open Society Foundations, the George Soros backed organization that has helped create the economic migrant crisis in Europe, is leaving the Central European nation of Hungary, declaring it can not "protect its employees from government". Zovacs studied at the Central European University, a school Soros helped fund.

Orban is leveraging his recent massive electoral victory to restrict the political influence of NGOs, many of which received millions from Soros, a Hungarian who escaped the country before Nazis invaded.

The CEU - which plans to open a satellite campus in Vienna - has agreed a deal with a United States college to meet new conditions imposed by Hungary, but the government is yet to approve the agreement.

"We call on the government to sign the agreement without further delay".

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