Orban Fights Back: Hungary Pushes Anti-Immigration “Stop Soros” Bill
Last month, members of the global financial and political elite listened with rapt attention as George Soros, the famed money manager and purported champion of “open” societies, blasted “mafia states” like Russia and his native Hungary, while also criticizing US President Donald Trump, with Soros admitting that his “goal in the United States” for this year’s midterm election was “to reestablish a functioning two-party system”…
Indeed, octogenarian Soros is showing no signs of dialing back his meddling in the affairs of European nations, and the US as well. And nowhere has his interference been more visible than in Hungary, where his former protégé, Viktor Orban, has sought to close the country’s borders to intruding refugees – a decision that has enraged Soros, who recently dedicated most of his eleven-figure fortune to erasing all national boundaries via his “Open Society” foundations.
After Soros declared Hungary “a mafia state” last summer, suggesting that he will do everything in his power to remove Orban from power, the country’s ruling party has engaged in a heated propaganda battle against Soros and his agents that has included erecting anti-Soros billboard messages around the country.
Now, that battle is escalating as Orban and his party are gearing up for national elections in April. As Reuters reported Wednesday, the country’s nationalist government introduced legislation to empower the country’s interior minister to ban NGOs – like those funded by Soros – that support policies that might compromise national security – policies like open borders and unrestricted immigration.
The bill would impose a 25% tax on migration-supporting NGOs that are operating in Hungary…
The bill, submitted to parliament late on Tuesday, is a key part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-immigration campaign targeting U.S. financier George Soros whose philanthropy aims to bolster liberal and open-border values in eastern Europe.
The government says the bill, which would also impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration in Hungary, is meant to deter illegal immigration Orban says is eroding European stability and has been stoked in part by Soros.
Hungary and Poland are both under nationalist governments that have clashed with the European Union leadership in Brussels over their perceived authoritarian drift deviating from EU standards on democracy and rule of law.
But Orban’s message, championing conservative Christian beliefs and rejecting multiculturalism, has gone down well with Hungarian voters and his Fidesz party is expected to secure a third straight term in a general election due on April 8.
Specifically, the bill says that any NGOs that “sponsor, organize or support the entry or stay of third-country citizens on Hungarian territory via a safe third country to extend international protection … qualify as organizations supporting migration.” Also, these activities would need to be approved by the interior minister, who could deny permission if he saw a “national security risk”. If an NGO continued to act in defiance of the law, Hungarian prosecutors would be empowered to take action…they would have the power to slap them with hefty fines, or even force their dissolution…
The bill is an expansion of a measure Orban’s government passed last year requiring NGOs that take foreign money to register with the state.
The legislation could also ban Soros, who still possesses Hungarian citizenship, from entering the country…
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee, an NGO that has been providing support for the legal and human rights of various groups including asylum seekers and prisoners since 1994, said the bill was unacceptable and served political goals.
“(Its goal) is to stigmatize certain civil organizations that the government does not like… and to distance them from society, and in the end make their operation impossible,” the committee, which receives a major chunk of its funding from Soros, said in a statement.
The bill will also likely intensify Orban’s confrontation with Brussels, as the European Commission said last year it was taking Budapest to the EU’s top court over its NGO laws as well as a higher education law that targets the Central European University in Budapest founded by Soros. Soros has spent $14 billion over the last 30 years on his initiatives promoting far-left causes in the formerly Communist eastern and central Europe.
But should the bill pass – and it’s expected that it will – he could virtually be cut off from supporting Orban’s opponents during an election in a country where Soros has not lived in decades…
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