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Soros's Foundation May Exit Hungary as Orban Purges Civil Groups

  • Open Society Foundations assessing options for Budapest office
  • Soros is target of Hungarian cabinet’s anti-immigrant campaign
George Soros

George Soros

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Updated on

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, a group that funds dozens of non-governmental organizations in Hungary, may move its staff out of Budapest amid a crackdown on civil society by Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

OSF is “considering various options” and is “closely watching developments around draft legislation that would dramatically restrict the activities of civil society in Hungary,” the charity said in an emailed statement on Friday. The foundation will move about 100 employees to Berlin, Austrian newspaper Die Presse reported on Thursday, without citing anyone. Speaking on public radio on Friday, Orban said he wouldn’t shed “crocodile tears” if the organization left Budapest.