Soros Foundation Attacks ‘Stifling’ Orban Law as Hungary Exit Looms
The foundation of Budapest-born financier George Soros accused Hungary’s right-wing leadership on Friday of trying to stifle non-government groups, but said it would decide whether to leave the country only after parliament passes a “Stop Soros” law.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose draft law has provoked legal action by the European Union, made clear he would be glad to see the back of the foundation after saying it promotes mass immigration against the will of the Hungarian people.
Critics of the nationalist premier, who scored a landslide election victory this month, said a departure of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) would mark a milestone in a slide towards authoritarian rule as he cracks down on independent centres of thought and activism.
OSF spokesman Csaba Csontos said the organisation was weighing its options. “The government has committed to passing the ‘Stop Soros’ law … It will be a symbolic step which serves to stifle non-government groups,” he told Reuters.
Asked about media reports that the OSF would move to Berlin, he said this idea had arisen and planning was underway, but he declined to confirm whether an exit from Hungary was definite.