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Open Society Foundations Withdraws Hungary After Orban's 'Repressive' Anti-Soros Crackdown

Open Society Foundations Withdraws Hungary After Orban's 'Repressive' Anti-Soros Crackdown

In a press release Tuesday, the Open Society Foundations, or OSF, mentioned the transfer is because of the Hungarian authorities's plan to "impose additional restrictions on non-governmental organizations by way of what it has branded its "Cease Soros" package deal of laws".

"Faced with an increasingly repressive political and legal environment in Hungary, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) are moving their Budapest-based worldwide operations and staff to the German capital, Berlin", the network confirmed in a statement on Tuesday.

Soros' Open Society Foundations is shifting local staff to Berlin, the group said in a statement Tuesday.

The legislation, invoking national security interests, would block any organization from advising or representing asylum seekers and refugees without a government license.

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The OSF said it would "pursue all available legal avenues to defend the fundamental rights that are threatened by the legislation" and "continue to support the important work of civil society groups in Hungary".

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

Earlier against Soros and his Foundation in Hungary was launched large-scale campaign. Pro-government media recently began publishing false accusations about individual academics, civil society members, and Foundations staff. The liberal media has attempted to portray the Hungarian governments efforts against the foundation's activities, as anti-Semitic, referring to alleged similar activities prior to the Second World War. One law proposed by Orban would levee steep taxes against any organization that worked with refugees or promoted refugee rights. The group now has annual expenditures of over $940 million, operates in over 100 countries across the globe, with 26 national and regional foundations and offices.

The Open Society Foundations project was started in 1979, with the first non-US foundation opening in Hungary in 1984. In 2010, Soros gave almost one million euros to help Hungarians affected by the catastrophic "red sludge" industrial disaster.