Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

George Soros charity damns Viktor Orban for '€100m spent on lies'

George Soros charity damns Viktor Orban for '€100m spent on lies'

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki meets his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Warsaw, Poland May 14, 2018.

"Faced with an increasingly repressive political and legal environment in Hungary, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) are moving their Budapest-based worldwide operations and staff to the German capital, Berlin", the network said in a statement.

Orban won a third four-year term in April and is on his first foreign policy visit since then to Poland, which is the biggest beneficiary of European Union aid, using it to upgrade its infrastructure.

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.

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Soros' support for refugees fleeing Africa and the Middle East in recent years has made him a target for Orban's right-wing coalition, which is now entering its third consecutive term and campaigned on a virulently anti-immigrant and anti-refugee platform.

Earlier, the Hungarian government had expressed their opposition to the activities of billionaire George Soros and his organizations, accusing them of meddling in the country's internal affairs. Soros' face adorns political ads across the country which read, "Don't let Soros have the last laugh". Soros supporters argued the campaign also had anti-Semitic overtones, a claim the government rejected.

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.

He launched OSF in 1979, with the Hungarian office opening five years later.

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The building that houses the Budapest offices of the Open Society Foundations in Budapest, Hungary.

George Soros's Open Society Foundations, one of the world's biggest financiers of non-governmental organizations, will leave Budapest in response to a crackdown by Hungary's government that has become a focal point in a clash of democratic values in Europe.

OSF said more than 100 OSF staff in Budapest would be affected by the move to Berlin, around 60 percent of whom are Hungarian nationals.

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