Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Soros Foundation Leaves Hungary Citing 'Repression' of Civil Society

Soros Foundation Leaves Hungary Citing 'Repression' of Civil Society

Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, said on Tuesday that Budapest had "denigrated and misrepresented" the organization's work and repressed civil society "for the sake of political gain".

What would the Stop Soros law do? .

The latest proposed legislation on nongovernmental organizations follows the passage of a 2017 law that imposed burdensome reporting requirements on Hungarian human rights and civil society groups receiving funding from overseas.

Orban, who won a landslide victory in the April elections, has repeatedly accused Soros and his organization in support of migrants and undermining national culture.

According to reports, George Soros' Open Society Foundations will close their office in the Hungarian capital and move to Berlin.

Together with other worldwide 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.

The new legislation restricts the work of NGOs that receive foreign funding, imposing a punitive 25% overhead tax on donations. The foundation supports and funds democracy and civil society initiatives in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The European Union has launched legal action against Hungary over its crackdown on NGOs, and education reform that could force the Soros-funded Central European University (CEU) to leave Budapest.

The legislation is branded as "Stop Soros" and the Hungarian government warned on Monday that legislative measures may yet become tighter. 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.

"We call on the government to sign the agreement without further delay".

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