Soros fund quits Hungary over government's 'repressive' policies

  • Soros fund quits Hungary over government's 'repressive' policies

Soros fund quits Hungary over government's 'repressive' policies

Open Society Foundations will move its worldwide operations in Budapest to Berlin in Germany, according to a press release Tuesday.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and members of his FIDESZ party celebrate from the podium on the bank of the Danube River after winning the parliamentary election on April 8, 2018 in Budapest.

Hungarian politicians have repeatedly called in the country to ban the activities of the Soros Foundation, accusing the philanthropist and his Foundation in promoting influx into Hungary of migrants. Those connected to Open Society have been targeted by clandestine and fraudulent recording efforts aimed at fueling the government's misleading propaganda campaign. The Foundations will pursue all available legal avenues to defend the fundamental rights that are threatened by the legislation.

"Orban now wants to enact laws that force non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to register with the government".

Earlier this year, citing national security concerns, his government announced a so-called "Stop Soros" package of laws aimed at tightening rules for NGOs receiving funding from overseas. "It has become impossible to protect the security of our operations and our staff in Hungary from arbitrary government interference", CNBC added.

Since then, according to its website, OSF and its predecessor the Hungarian Soros Foundation have funded breakfasts for schoolchildren, supported programs to modernize the country's healthcare system, provided $8.6 million for Hungarians hit by the 2008 financial crisis and donated more than $250 million to help fund the Central European University in Budapest, which is also facing threats from recent legislation.

George Soros' charitable foundations announced Tuesday that they are leaving Hungary, the New York Times reported. Soros supporters argued the campaign also had anti-Semitic overtones, a claim the government rejected. Open Society Foundations said Tuesday that it would seek legal routes to challenge the new legislation.

OSF cited the safety of its more than 100 employees in Hungary as well as the security of its operations there, which fund dozens of NGOs in the country of 10 million.