George Soros NGOs to face crack down in Hungary thanks to Donald Trump's victory

It is a direct result of the US President-elect's victory, which has emboldened Hungary's far right to 'sweep out' organisations seen as liberal

Zoltan Simon
Wednesday 11 January 2017 13:29 GMT
The Hungarian-born investor faces a crackdown in his homeland as the right-wing government is emboldened by Donald Trump's election
The Hungarian-born investor faces a crackdown in his homeland as the right-wing government is emboldened by Donald Trump's election

Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organisations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party.

The European Union member will use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born financier, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments,” Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, told reporters on Tuesday.

No one answered the phone at the Open Society Institute in Budapest when called outside business hours.

“I feel that there is an opportunity for this, internationally,” because of Trump’s election, state news service MTI reported Nemeth as saying. Lawmakers will start debating a bill to let authorities audit NGO executives, according to parliament’s legislative agenda.

​Orban, the first European leader to publicly back Trump’s campaign, has ignored criticism from the European Commission and US President Barack Obama’s administration for building a self-described “illiberal state” modeled on authoritarian regimes including Russia, China and Turkey.

In 2014, Orban personally ordered the state audit agency to probe foundations financed by Norway and said that civil society groups financed from abroad were covers for “paid political activists.”

Orban and his administration have frequently singled out NGOs supported by Soros, a US Democratic Party supporter with a wide network of organisations that promote democracy in formerly communist eastern Europe.

Trump also accused the 86-year-old billionaire of being part of “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

In a pre-election advert, he showed images of Soros along with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Lloyd Blankfein, all of whom are Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League criticised the ad for touching on “subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages.”


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