Soros-backed foundation leaving Hungary

George Soros foundation officially announces departure from Hungary
George Soros' Open Society foundation ends operations in Hungary – statement
Author

16 May, 2018

"The fact that OSF feel the need to leave says a lot about where things are going now with a government that is ruthless when it comes to civil society and has made its intentions very clear", said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International's Europe director, adding her organisation is considering a similar move if the proposed laws are passed.

The legislation, invoking national security interests, would block any organization from advising or representing asylum seekers and refugees without a government license.

It would allow the interior minister to ban any NGOs active in the immigration field deemed to pose a "national security risk".

A senior minister in Orban's new government said on Monday that Hungary would tighten the bill on non-government groups following the ruling party's big election victory last month, a move likely to dismay the European Union and rights groups.

Rights groups in Hungary and overseas have denounced the proposals as a way of cracking down on groups critical of the government.

Soros' Open Society Foundations, which promote democracy and free speech, have also endured threats of legal sanctions from the government.

"We are going to reaffirm those elements of our sovereignty which are under attack", Orban spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said in a statement.

The theme of thwarting Soros's alleged efforts to encourage immigration dominated the election campaign during which Orban said some 2,000 "mercenaries" paid by Soros were working in Hungary.

PNB posts net loss of Rs 13417 crore for Q4
It has also detailed the roles of Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and Subhash Parab, an executive in Nirav Modi's company . They are at large after defrauding PNB of over Rs 14,000 crore using 1,200 illegally secured letters of undertakings (LOUs).

A Hungarian government billboard featuring George Soros, with the words translated to "Don't let George Soros have the last laugh" is seen at a transit stop in Budapest on July 6, 2017.

Soros' Foundations have about 100 employees in Budapest.

The campaign was criticized in the Hungarian Jewish community as having anti-Semitic overtones.

Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, said on Tuesday that Budapest had "denigrated and misrepresented" the organization's work and repressed civil society "for the sake of political gain".

Government pressure shows no sign of easing, however: Mr Orban said recently that he would not "shed crocodile tears" over the OSF, and he backed a pro-government magazine's publication of a list of more than 200 Hungarian NGO staff, academics and journalists whom it called "Soros mercenaries".

George Soros' charitable foundations announced Tuesday that they are leaving Hungary, the New York Times reported.

Central European University in Budapest, another institution that was founded and funded by Soros, remains in a state of limbo.


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