Hungary: George Soros' Open Society Foundations to move from Hungary to Germany

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban smiles prior to a swearing-in ceremony for members of the new Hungarian parliament

The representative of the Hungarian government, zoltán kovács, declined to comment.

The Open Society Foundation (OSF) backed by Hungarian-born USA billionaire George Soros is moving from Budapest to Berlin, the German public broadcaster DW reported on Tuesday.

The organization announced his retirement a day after the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced the tightening of restrictions on the activities of non-governmental organizations in accordance with the law, dubbed "Stop Soros".

Opposition and rights groups have long said that a departure of the OSF would mark a milestone in a slide towards authoritarian rule in Hungary and go against the principles of the European Union - a charge dismissed by the government.

"It has become impossible to protect the security of our operations and our staff in Hungary from arbitrary government interference", said Patrick Gaspard, OSF president in Tuesday's statement.

The theme of thwarting Soros's alleged efforts to encourage immigration dominated the election campaign during which Orban said some 2,000 "mercenaries" paid by Soros were working in Hungary. Orban says Soros is out to undermine Europe's cultural identity while the billionaire has accused him of running a mafia state.


But it would move its Budapest-based worldwide operations and staff to Germany.

Orban is leveraging his recent massive electoral victory to restrict the political influence of NGOs, many of which received millions from Soros, a Hungarian who escaped the country before Nazis invaded.

Hungary and Poland hold similar positions on the European Union's new budget and oppose cutting funds for the common agricultural policy, the two prime ministers said on Monday.

Soros launched his first foundation in Hungary in 1984, using it to promote freedom of expression during the last years of Communism, the OSF said.

What would the Stop Soros law do? .

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