Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

George Soros' Open Society foundation ends operations in Hungary - statement

George Soros' Open Society foundation ends operations in Hungary - statement

Viktor Orban, the Hungarian leader, has spent more than €100 million in state funds on propaganda to demonise George Soros, the financier's charity claimed as it announced it was pulling out of Budapest.

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 decision to move operations out of Budapest comes as the Hungarian government prepares to impose further restrictions on non-governmental organizations through what it has branded its "Stop Soros" package of legislation", it continued.

When news of the Open Society Foundations' possible departure from Hungary broke in April, Orban said: "You might understand if I don't cry my eyes out".

Earlier against Soros and his Foundation in Hungary was launched large-scale campaign. The step raises the stakes in Prime Minister Viktor Orban's standoff with the European Union as he seeks to complete a break with liberal democracy after winning a third consecutive term in elections last month.

"The Foundations will pursue all available legal avenues to defend the fundamental rights that are threatened by the legislation", OSF said in the statement, vowing to continue the organisation's work in Hungary through funding from the German capital.

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". The liberal media has attempted to portray the Hungarian governments efforts against the foundation's activities, as anti-Semitic, referring to alleged similar activities prior to the Second World War.

The building that houses the Budapest offices of the Open Society Foundations in Budapest, Hungary. Open Society Foundations said Tuesday that it would seek legal routes to challenge the new legislation.

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