Open Society Foundations Withdraws Hungary After Orban's 'Repressive' Anti-Soros Crackdown

Poland's Prime Minister Morawiecki meets his Hungarian counterpart Orban in Warsaw

Poland's Prime Minister Morawiecki meets his Hungarian counterpart Orban in Warsaw

The inspiration of billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, is relocating its headquarters to Berlin from Budapest within the wake of an "more and more repressive" setting in Hungary.

While the foundation, which acts primarily as a grant-making body, has vowed to continue supporting civil society in Hungary, it is unclear to what extent it will be able to back local groups in the future. But it would "pursue all available legal avenues to defend the fundamental rights that are threatened by the [Stop Soros] legislation".

The government's hate campaign has included propaganda posters and billboards, invoking anti-Semitic imagery from World War II, and a supposed "national consultation" attacking George Soros, founder and chair of the Open Society Foundations, and Hungarian human rights groups.

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.

The organization announced his retirement a day after the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced the tightening of restrictions on the activities of non-governmental organizations in accordance with the law, dubbed "Stop Soros".

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"The so-called Stop Soros package of laws is only the latest in a series of such attempts".

Among a host of restrictive measures, it would force NGOs that help migrants to undergo security screening and pay a 25 per cent tax on all foreign funding.

Soros is a U.S. billionaire and philanthropist who was born to a Jewish family in Hungary in 1930.

Orban is leveraging his recent massive electoral victory to restrict the political influence of NGOs, many of which received millions from Soros, a Hungarian who escaped the country before Nazis invaded. He emigrated to the United States in 1956 and later began a successful career as an investor.

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