Soros basis to give up Hungary after conflict with authorities

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"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.

The group based its decision on the fact that Budapest "prepares to impose further restrictions on nongovernmental organizations through what it has branded its "Stop Soros" package of legislation".

Soros, 87, has clashed with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for years.

"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 European Union", said Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, reported CNBC.

"The so-called Stop Soros package of laws is only the latest in a series of such attempts".

In a statement, the foundations said the government had spent "more than 100 million euros" on a propaganda campaign against them, including "invoking anti-Semitic imagery from World War II".

Open Society Foundations, the George Soros backed organization that has helped create the economic migrant crisis in Europe, is leaving the Central European nation of Hungary, declaring it can not "protect its employees from government".

After Orban and his Fidesz Party won a landslide in parliamentary elections on April 8, the attacks on Soros and the OSF have increased.

Hungarian politicians have repeatedly called in the country to ban the activities of the Soros Foundation, accusing the philanthropist and his Foundation in promoting influx into Hungary of migrants.

A Hungarian government billboard featuring George Soros, with the words translated to "Don't let George Soros have the last laugh" is seen at a transit stop in Budapest on July 6, 2017.

The Open Society Foundations project was started in 1979, with the first non-US foundation opening in Hungary in 1984.

OSF said more than 100 OSF staff in Budapest would be affected by the move to Berlin, around 60 percent of whom are Hungarian nationals.

As hundreds of thousands of people streamed through Hungary bound for Western Europe and with Budapest train stations resembling squalid refugee camps, Orban erected a fence on Hungary's border with Serbia. The bill says that all NGOs which "support illegal immigration" need to be registered, while any NGO which gets money from overseas must pay a 25-percent tax. The Hungarian government opposes the Open Society's open immigration policies.

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