Soros-backed foundation leaving Hungary

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Branded an enemy of Hungary's anti-migrant prime minister, Viktor Orban, the Hungarian-born Soros has been at the forefront of repeated political attacks against civil society actors that support the rights of migrants in Europe.

Soros's Open Society Foundations (OSF) organisation said it would continue to support human rights work in Hungary as well as projects linked to arts, media freedom, transparency, education and health care.

Mr Soros' Open Society Foundations said it was shifting its office to Berlin in the face of an "increasingly repressive political and legal environment" under the nationalist government.

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. He has proposed what is commonly referred to as a "Stop Soros" law, aimed at penalizing nongovernmental agencies that assist asylum seekers and refugees.

OSF's Gaspard said the Hungarian government had funneled more than 100 million euros ($119m) in public funds into its "hate campaign" in order to "spread lies about the Foundations and their partners", he said.

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Last spring, Orban's governing coalition passed a bill that would force CEU to open an American campus - something the university says is cost prohibitive.

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 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.

Earlier against Soros and his Foundation in Hungary was launched large-scale campaign. 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.

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 would also impose a 25-percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration.

The prestigious Soros-founded Central European University is also waging a battle against Orban after a higher education law was passed a year ago that it says threatens its survival in Hungary.

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