Soros Group Vows To Stay In Hungary Despite Plans For Government Crackdown On NGOs
The Open Society Foundations has vowed to continue operations inside of Hungary despite plans from the country’s ruling party to crackdown on NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born George Soros.
Hungary plans to use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by Soros, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments,” Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the country’s ruling Fidesz party, told reporters on Tuesday.
“I feel that there is an opportunity for this, internationally,” because of Trump’s election victory, state news service MTI reported Nemeth as saying.
Hungarian lawmakers will debate legislation allowing the European Union member to audit NGOs, according to the country’s parliamentary agenda.
The Open Society Foundations responded to the planned crackdown on Wednesday, saying that the NGO will stay put and continue working inside the country.
“The Open Society Foundations will continue to work in Hungary despite government opposition to our mission of fairer, accountable societies,”’ the organization’s president, Christopher Stone, told Bloomberg News.
“In Hungary and around the world we are more focused than ever on working with local groups to strengthen democratic practice, rights, and justice.”
Hungry’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who ironically received Soros funded scholarships to study at British universities, has made public his plans to build what he calls an “illiberal state,” similar to Russia and Turkey.
“I don’t think that our European Union membership precludes us from building an illiberal new state based on national foundations,” Orban said in a 2014 speech. He listed Russia, Turkey and China as examples of “successful” nations, “none of which is liberal and some of which aren’t even democracies.”
Orban has said that civil society groups funded from abroad were covers for “paid political activists,” and accused Soros of being a prominent member of a circle of “activists” trying to undermine European nations by supporting the migrant crisis.
Soros gave nearly $10 million to Clinton super PAC Priorities USA during the presidential campaign and handed another $33 million to the group through Open Society Foundations (OSF), which he funds and controls.
The liberal billionaire has also come under fire for giving more than $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement through his foundations.
In late 2015, Russian Prosecutor General’s Office recognized Soros’s Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security.