SOROS FOUNDATION TO LEAVE BUDAPEST OVER ‘REPRESSIVE’ GOVERNMENT
BUDAPEST The foundation of billionaire philanthropist George Soros said Tuesday that it is relocating its headquarters to Berlin from Budapest in the wake of what it called an “increasingly repressive” environment in Hungary.
The Open Society Foundations, or OSF, said the move is because of the government’s plan to “impose further restrictions on non-governmental organizations through what it has branded its ’Stop Soros’ package of legislation.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has accused the 87-year-old Soros of being part of a strategy to flood Europe with migrants and of meddling in domestic affairs — something Soros and his organization say isn’t true.
Orban was re-elected last month to a third consecutive term during a campaign based heavily on demonizing migrants and blaming Soros and organizations supported by his Open Society Foundations. Orban now plans a package of laws dubbed “Stop Soros” that would greatly restrict non-governmental groups working with refugees and asylum-seekers.
Patrick Gaspard, the OSF’s president, said the government has “denigrated and misrepresented our work and repressed civil society for the sake of political gain, using tactics unprecedented in the history of the European Union.”