Soros basis to give up Hungary after conflict with authorities


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.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki meets his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Warsaw, Poland May 14, 2018. Parliamentary elections last month saw Orban's Fidesz coalition win a supermajority, giving it the power to make sweeping changes to the country's laws and constitution.

Orban won a third four-year term in April and is on his first foreign policy visit since then to Poland, which is the biggest beneficiary of European Union aid, using it to upgrade its infrastructure. It's nearly identical to Russia's Foreign Agent Law, which has been used to crack down on opposition voices and independent media.

The OSF said it would "pursue all available legal avenues to defend the fundamental rights that are threatened by the legislation" and "continue to support the important work of civil society groups in Hungary".

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

Both countries are accused by the European Commission of undermining judicial independence in a row that threatens their future funding from the bloc.

More news: Erdogan: US lost its status as mediator in Middle East peace process

The proposals include a special tax on such NGOs, secret service surveillance of their staff, and a ban on any individuals deemed to be involved in "illegal immigration" from Hungary and its border zones. Soros' spokesman said at the time that his views had been misrepresented. The law was termed the "Stop Soros" bill.

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

It is noted that, together with other global sponsors of the "open society" will continue to support the work of civil society groups in Hungary such as arts and culture, freedom of media, transparency, education and health.

Soros fled Hungary for Britain in the 1940s to escape Nazi occupation. Around 60 percent are Hungarian nationals, including several who have worked for the Open Society Foundations for more than a decade.

He launched OSF in 1979, with the Hungarian office opening five years later.

OSF's Gaspard said the Hungarian government had funneled more than 100 million euros ($119m) in public funds into its "hate campaign" in order to "spread lies about the Foundations and their partners", he said.