Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Foundation quits Hungary over 'repressive' policies — George Soros

Foundation quits Hungary over 'repressive' policies — George Soros

"The government of Hungary has denigrated and misrepresented our work and repressed civil society for the sake of political gain, using tactics unprecedented in the history of the European Union", he said.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs declined to comment.

The Open Society Foundation (OSF) backed by Hungarian-born U.S. billionaire George Soros is moving from Budapest to Berlin, the German public broadcaster DW reported on Tuesday.

OSF said more than 100 OSF staff in Budapest would be affected by the move to Berlin, around 60 percent of whom are Hungarian nationals.

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

On Monday, Antal Rogan, the minister for Orban's cabinet office, said the government would propose a "tighter" Stop Soros bill without providing any details.

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Orban has increased his control over the media and put allies in control of formerly independent institutions, while his stand on refusing to accept large numbers of migrants in Hungary has also put him in conflict with the EU.

Mr Soros denies Mr Orban's accusation that his foundation is part of a plan to bring unsustainable numbers of migrants to Europe.

Before the election, Orban's political campaign vilified Soros, and his activity supporting civil society, on billboards nationwide.

Speaking after holding talks in Warsaw with visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Morawiecki said: "Here, in Poland, it's we who decide who will come to Poland and who will not".

Hungary and Poland hold similar positions on the European Union's new budget and oppose cutting funds for the common agricultural policy, the two prime ministers said on Monday. As it stands, the proposed law would allow the interior ministry to ban an NGO that deals with immigration if it posed a "national security risk".

The new legislation restricts the work of NGOs that receive foreign funding, imposing a punitive 25% overhead tax on donations.

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