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Soros’s Open Society 'To Close Budapest Office, Leave Hungary'


An anti-Soros billboard placed by the Hungarian government.

George Soros's Open Society Foundations will close their office in Budapest and move their Eastern European operations to Berlin, Austria's Die Presse newspaper is reporting.

The newspaper on April 19 said that Open Society President Patrick Gaspard traveled to the Hungarian capital to inform some 100 employees that operations there will be closed and moved to Berlin.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has targeted the work of U.S.-Hungarian billionaire philanthropist George Soros, whom he accuses of meddling in Hungarian politics and leading the liberal opposition

Orban has pushed through legislation cracking down on nongovernmental organizations called the "Stop Soros" laws, which have drawn international criticism.

Hungarian news web site 444.hu said the Open Society Foundations office will close by August 31, moving first to Vienna and then on to Berlin.

Reuters news agency said it has not been able to reach the Open Society Foundations in Budapest or New York for comment. It said the Hungarian government did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

According to the Open Society website, Soros has given more than $32 billion since its launching in 1979 to fund the foundations, which work in more than 100 countries to establish “open societies in place of authoritarian forms of government.”

He began operations in Hungary in 1984.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa
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