World News

Government Officials Drive The George Soros Foundation Out Of Hungary

Government Officials Drive The George Soros Foundation Out Of Hungary

"Faced with an increasingly repressive political and legal environment in Hungary, the Open Society Foundations are moving their Budapest-based worldwide operations and staff to the German capital, Berlin", the group said in a statement. "It has become impossible to protect the security of our operations and our staff in Hungary from arbitrary government interference", CNBC added.

Since opening his first foundation in Hungary in 1984, the Budapest-born Mr Soros has spent hundreds of millions of euro in the country on everything from photocopiers for independent media, to milk for schoolchildren and a clean-up operation after a 2010 toxic sludge disaster. In 2015, during the migrant crisis, Orban repeatedly clashed with Soros over Hungary's obligations to take in refugees from the conflict in Syria.

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". The law was termed the "Stop Soros" bill.

After Orban and his Fidesz Party won a landslide in parliamentary elections on April 8, the attacks on Soros and the OSF have increased.

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Orban, an avowed nationalist and critic of Western Europe's embrace of refugees, blamed Soros for much of the country's economic woes ahead of his recent reelection.

Prior to Open Society's announcement on Tuesday, rights groups had already warned Hungary was going further down the path of authoritarianism, with NGOs and charities involved in migration already subject to hostility from the state-affiliated media and harassment by the authorities. It would also impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration.

OSF spokesman Daniel Makonnen said staff in the Budapest office were being spied on and threatened.

Another Soros institution funded by Soros, Budapest's Central European University, may also be forced to shutter operations in Hungary. Open Society Foundations said Tuesday that it would seek legal routes to challenge the new legislation.


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