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Soros foundation quits Hungary to escape 'unprecedented' tactics

Soros foundation quits Hungary to escape 'unprecedented' tactics”

In recent years, the fiercely anti-immigration Orban has waged a series of large-scale taxpayer-funded information campaigns attacking Soros, accusing him of being a "public enemy" plotting to change the cultural fabric of Europe.

Soros's Open Society Foundations (OSF) organization said it would continue to support human rights work in Hungary as well as projects linked to the arts, media freedom, transparency, education and healthcare, but that it would move its Budapest-based global operations and staff to Germany.

George Soros' Open Society Foundations operates more than 40 offices around the world.

Open Society said it would continue to support the work of civil society groups in Hungary on issues such as human rights, arts and culture, media freedom, transparency, and education and health care. He has proposed what is commonly referred to as a "Stop Soros" law, aimed at penalizing nongovernmental agencies that assist asylum seekers and refugees.

Last spring, Orban's governing coalition passed a bill that would force CEU to open an American campus - something the university says is cost prohibitive.

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".

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.

Earlier against Soros and his Foundation in Hungary was launched large-scale campaign.

The Hungarian billionaire and philanthropist has been the target of sustained anti-Semitic rhetoric by Hungary's Prime Minister, Victor Orban.

The new legislation restricts the work of NGOs that receive foreign funding, imposing a punitive 25% overhead tax on donations. 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.

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.

OSF cited the safety of its more than 100 employees in Hungary as well as the security of its operations there, which fund dozens of NGOs in the country of 10 million.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs declined to comment.



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