The anti-George Soros sentiment spreads beyond just Britain where he is synonymously known as “the man who broke the bank of England.”
In Hungary, legislation called the “Stop Soros” bill has been introduced to parliament which would “empower the interior minister to ban non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that support migration and pose a ‘national security risk,'” according to Yahoo News.
Submitted to parliament on Tuesday, the bill stems from Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-immigration campaign that specifically targets Soros for using his philanthropy to promote open borders in eastern Europe.
“The government says the bill, which would also impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration in Hungary, is meant to deter illegal immigration Orban says is eroding European stability and has been stoked in part by Soros,” reports Yahoo News.
Both Hungary and Poland have suffered severe scrutiny at the hands of the European Union for refusing to accept Middle-Eastern migrants. Last year, the EU threatened both countries with sanctions if they did not comply.
The bill says that NGOs that “sponsor, organize or support the entry or stay of third-country citizens on Hungarian territory via a safe third country to extend international protection … qualify as organizations supporting migration”.
Yahoo News reports that “such activity – including campaigning, advocacy, recruiting volunteers, producing information booklets – would have to be approved by the interior minister, who could deny permission if he saw a ‘national security risk.'” More on the bill from Yahoo News:
If an NGO continued with such activity, Hungarian prosecutors could act to withdraw the NGO’s tax number, essentially paralyzing them, slap them with heavy fines and ultimately dissolve them.
Organizations that support migration will have to pay tax on the foreign funding or assets they receive, the bill says, with a possible exemption on funding that serves humanitarian goals.
Activists who organize or support migration could also face restraining orders preventing them from approaching the EU’s external borders in Hungary.
A “Stop Soros” billboard campaign was launched to stop the 87-year-old Soros from seeking to “settle millions from Africa and the Middle East” in Hungary. Soros has called the campaign against him one of “distortions and lies.”
Earlier this week, Soros lamented about similar attacks on him in Britain, where newspapers began blasting him for investing in an anti-Brexit campaign designed to bolster a second referendum to reverse the country’s decision to leave the European Union.