The philanthropic foundation funded by the billionaire George Soros is to close its offices in Hungary, saying it can’t protect its own staff from the country’s government.
Open Society Foundations will move its international operations in Budapest to Berlin in Germany, according to a press release Tuesday.
“The government of Hungary has denigrated and misrepresented our work and repressed civil society for the sake of political gain, using tactics unprecedented in the history of the European Union,” said Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations.
The Hungarian government, led by the recently re-elected Viktor Orban, won a strong mandate by campaigning on the issue of migration, which included the promise of a “stop Soros” package.
Orban launched a nationwide television and billboard advertising campaign in July accusing Soros of devising Europe’s refugee crisis. Critics of Orban’s drive to condemn the 87-year-old investor said posters were not dissimilar to the anti-Semitic imagery of the 1930s, which portrayed Jews as political manipulators.