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George Soros Foundation To Close Office In 'Repressive' Hungary

16 May 2018, 12:39 | Marta Robbins

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

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

Orban's campaign for the April election vilified Soros and his activities in support of civil society on billboards nationwide, and he made clear he would be glad to see the OSF leave Hungary.

Open Society Foundations will move its worldwide operations in Budapest to Berlin in Germany, according to a press release Tuesday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has repeatedly accused Soros and his Open Society Foundations (OSF) of encouraging migration into Europe and of undermining Hungary's national culture, charges the Budapest-born philanthropist denies. The law was termed the "Stop Soros" bill.

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.

The "Stop Soros" package was "one of the most important questions of the election, Hungarians voted for it... what we said we would do, we will do", Orban said Monday on a visit to Warsaw.

Mother's Day weekend rain chances in the Quad Cities
For your Mother's Day on Sunday we are expecting about a copy and paste forecast from Saturday , but a bit warmer and more humid. Monday morning going into the afternoon on and off periods of showers and storms will be possible across our area.

"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", said Patrick Gaspard, president of Open Society Foundations. The group now has annual expenditures of over $940 million, operates in over 100 countries across the globe, with 26 national and regional foundations and offices.

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. Since then he has donated billions of dollars to foundations across the world, with the first in Hungary opening in 1984 to promote freedom of speech during communism.

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.

Together with other global funders, Open Society will continue to support the important work of civil society groups in Hungary on issues such as arts and culture, media freedom, transparency, and education and health care for all Hungarians.

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



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