The ongoing battle between Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban and American billionaire George Soros is heating up even further. Never particularly popular with the Hungarian government, Soros has been spreading around his wealth in that nation through various NGOs in an effort to promote liberal policies and candidates, as well as pushing for open borders and greater migrant resettlement. Now the legislature has brought forward a new bill which has been none too subtly dubbed, “Stop Soros.” The implications for not only Soros but other foreign actors in the country could be quite serious indeed.
Hungary’s nationalist government outlined legislation on Wednesday to tackle illegal immigration that it says is undermining European stability and has been stoked in part by U.S. financier George Soros.
Right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban is embroiled in an escalating feud with Soros, who has rejected an extended Hungarian government campaign against him as “distortions and lies” meant to create a false external enemy…
The legislative package, dubbed “Stop Soros” by government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs, includes mandatory registration of some non-government organizations that “support illegal immigration”, according to an emailed government position paper.
Hungary already forces NGOs to report the sources of all foreign donations, but under this new plan, they could impose a 25% tax on such contributions, no doubt discouraging the activity. Also, the government spokesman mentioned that “activists” engaged in such fundraising and campaigning could have restraining orders placed on them, preventing their approach to the country’s borders. The upshot of that one is that Soros could be effectively exiled and banned from entering Hungary.
That’s a tricky situation, since George Soros was actually born in Hungary and holds dual citizenship both there and in the United States. But at this point, it appears that he couldn’t do much about it except appeal the decision to the European Union. That’s not a particularly promising path for him either, however, since Viktor Orban has basically been thumbing his nose at Brussels since entering office.
Most of this boils down to the mass immigration question, where Budapest and Brussels hold decidedly different opinions. Orban published a position paper supporting the new legislation in which the government states, “Illegal mass immigration is a problem that affects Europe as a whole, posing serious security risks.” And since Soros has become the face of high, mandatory immigration quotas that puts him squarely in Orban’s sights.
Can Hungary effectively banish Soros from the nation of his birth? That’s a tricky question in legal terms, but Orban and his ruling party are currently very popular, with Orban expected to easily win reelection this year. Even if he has legal precedent on his side, George Soros may find few allies in the government to support his claim.