George Soros may close his NGO’s Budapest office amid ‘political hostility’ – report
George Soros' Open Society Foundations (OSF) may close their office in Budapest and move Eastern European operations to Germany, due to the “political hostility” it faces in Hungary, Austria’s Die Presse newspaper reported.
The office may shut down, reportedly, by the end of August and then move to Berlin or to Vienna. The report came a week and a half after Hungarian parliamentary elections, in which the conservative, anti-immigrant Fidesz party, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, secured a decisive victory.
In a press release on Thursday night, the Open Society Foundations neither confirmed nor denied the report, saying that it is “closely monitoring the situation” but emphasizing that, in any case, it will “remain committed to Hungary.”
“We are considering various options, as the security of our staff in Budapest and the integrity of our work is of paramount importance,” the NGO wrote. “The Open Society Foundations are closely watching developments around the draft legislation that would dramatically restrict the activities of civil society in Hungary.”
Hungarian-born US billionaire and philanthropist George Soros made a fortune shorting Great Britain’s pound sterling, which resulted in the currency’s collapse in 1992. Through his Open Society Foundation, Soros lobbied Europe to open its doors to asylum-seekers. In 2015, during Europe’s massive refugee crisis, Soros insisted that the “EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future.”
Orban has repeatedly accused the billionaire of tampering with Hungary’s internal affairs, as well as of conspiring to flood Europe with migrants, predominantly from Muslim countries, in order to destroy European values and promote a globalist agenda.
“Soros has antagonized not only us but also England, President Trump and Israel too… everywhere he wants to get migration accepted. It won’t work. We are not alone and we will fight together… and we will succeed,” the prime minister said in February.
Soros was accused of meddling in British politics when it emerged in February that he had had donated almost $700,000 to the pro-EU lobby group Best for Britain.
In April, Judicial Watch released a report detailing how the Obama administration, in concert with Soros, spent at least $9 million in US taxpayer money to fund a political reform campaign in Albania.
Soros is a billionaire and “shouldn’t be receiving taxpayer support to advance his radical left agenda to undermine freedom here at home and abroad,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
Shortly before the elections, Fidesz introduced an anti-NGO bill, dubbed the ‘Stop Soros Act.’ The proposed legislation targets NGOs that “organize illegal immigration” and advocate for the rights of migrants through other means. The bill, if adopted, will oblige NGOs to provide government with detailed accounts of their activities and will impose a 25 percent tax on funds they receive from abroad. The legislation is expected to be voted-on shortly, when parliament reconvenes after the elections.
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