The OSF intends to move to the German capital of Berlin, the organisation said on Tuesday, leaving what it called an “repressive political and legal environment”.
In a statement, the OSF said: “The decision to move operations out of Budapest comes as the Hungarian government prepares to impose further restrictions on non-governmental organizations through what it has branded its ‘Stop Soros’ package of legislation.”
The ruling party in Hungary, Fidesz is introducing an anti-NGO bill, dubbed the ‘Stop Soros Act targeting NGOs that “organize illegal immigration” and agitate for the so-called rights of migrants.
The bill would force NGOs to provide detailed accounts of their activities and will impose a 25 percent tax on funds they receive from abroad.
Last month Austria’s Die Presse newspaper reported that the pro-immigration OSF could move by the end of August to either Berlin or to Vienna after Orban secured a decisive victory.
The Open Society Foundation had said in response that it would however “remain committed to Hungary”. During Europe’s massive refugee crisis in 2015, Soros had declared that the “EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future”. He has never been elected to any EU law making position.
Newly re-elected Hungarian Prime Minister Orban had earlier expressed his opposition to the increased brazen meddling by Soros-controlled organisations, saying “no matter how many times George Soros goes to Brussels, no matter how many times the issue of illegal immigration is placed on the agenda, and no matter how many allies George Soros has in Brussels, we will not back down”.
Orban vowed on Thursday during his address to Hungary’s new parliament, not to cave in to pressure to accept EU-imposed migrant quotas, warning that mass migration “can lead to the deaths of nations”. He pledged to safeguard Christian values instead.
Soros has also been accused of meddling in other countries. In Britian it emerged in February that he had had donated almost $700 000 to the pro-EU lobby group Best for Britain to counter the result of the Brexit referendum.
In April, Judicial Watch released a report detailing how the Obama administration had given Soros at least $9 million of American tax dollars to meddle in Albanian politics.
Soros, a billionaire, “shouldn’t be receiving taxpayer support to advance his radical left agenda to undermine freedom here at home and abroad,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement at the time.