‘Stop Soros’ Anti-Immigration Bill Submitted to Hungarian Parliament
AFP 2018/ LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI Europe15:20 14.02.2018Get short URL
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-immigration campaign takes aim at US billionaire George Soros, who has been pumping funds to boost “open-door” values in Eastern Europe.
Hungary’s government introduced a bill that would enable the Interior Minister to ban NGOs that back migration and jeopardize national security.
The proposed legislation will impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs supporting migration in Hungary, thus hindering the illegal immigration flow, which, according to Orban, undermines European stability and has been stoked in part by George Soros.
According to the bill, 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.”
Such activities will have to be approved by the Interior Minister, who could deny permission if he regards them as a “national security risk.”
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Activists supporting migration could also face a harsh backlash in the form of restraining orders preventing them from approaching the EU’s external borders in Hungary. If NGOs continue their activities in that field, prosecutors could paralyze them by withdrawing their tax number, imposing heavy fines or demanding their dissolution.
Orban, who has taken a tough stance against unchecked immigration, has been “fighting” with Soros for years, putting emphasis on the mogul’s Open Society foundation, which according to him, strives to influence domestic policy in the Western capitals. The Hungarian Prime Minister claimed that Soros would “settle millions from Africa and the Middle East,” while the tycoon dismissed the campaign against him as “distortions and lies,” meant to create a false external enemy.
The new legislation could result in George Soros being banned from entering the country, despite the fact that he has Hungarian citizenship.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights NGO, said the bill was “unacceptable” and served political goals.
“(Its goal) is to stigmatize certain civil organizations that the government does not like… and to distance them from society, and in the end make their operation impossible,” the committee, which receives a major share of its funding from Soros, said in a statement.
George Soros has yet to comment on the freshly proposed legislation.