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16th May, 2018

Soros foundation leaving Budapest

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) formally announced yesterday plans to move international operations and staff from Budapest to Berlin, citing “an increasingly repressive political and legal environment in Hungary”.

The philanthropic organisation founded by George Soros has been operating in Budapest since 1984.

The organisation said it will continue to support NGOs in Hungary in such important areas as arts and culture, media freedom, transparency, and education and health care for all Hungarians.

The statement noted that the government plans to introduce further restrictions on NGOs with its so-called ”Stop Soros” legislative package.

OSF president Patrick Gaspard declared that “the government of Hungary has denigrated and misrepresented our work and repressed civil society for the sake of political gain, using tactics unprecedented in the history of the EU”.

With the Stop Soros package, he said, “it has become impossible to protect the security of our operations and our staff in Hungary from arbitrary government interference”.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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