(17 August 2018) – The foundation run by US billionaire George Soros said Thursday (16 August) that the last of its operations in Hungary would cease by 31 August, with its activities being transferred to Berlin.
The Open Society Foundations (OSF) announced in May that it was leaving Hungary, citing what it called the “repressive” policies of nationalist firebrand Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Anti-immigrant rhetoric was a key part of Orban’s election campaign and his government accuses Soros of using his organisations to orchestrate immigration and undermine the cultural and religious identity of Europe. Soros denies this.
In June, Hungary passed the controversial ‘Stop Soros’ law, which includes a punishment of up to a year in prison for anyone assisting someone who enters the country illegally.
The EU is taking legal action against Hungary over the law and its failure to resolve previous complaints about its treatment of asylum seekers. In a recent speech, Orban railed against “undemocratic” Western Europe states and branded the European Commission a “symbol of failure”. (EurActiv)