EU Starts Legal Action Against Hungary for ‘Stop Soros’ Migrant Law
The European Commission, the European Union’s legal institution, on Thursday sent a formal letter of notice to Hungary, the first step of an infringement procedure, over the government’s “Stop Soros” law.
The law, named after Jewish Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, threatens aid workers and human rights advocates working with asylum-seekers with up to a year in prison, and was approved by parliament last month along with a set of constitutional amendments.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has objected to the organization’s calls for greater tolerance of refugees and migrants. The move comes as Orban visits Israel, where he has been feted by the government, but faced protests.
Soros’ Open Society Foundations says it has spent over $400 million in Hungary since 1984, promoting “independent journalism, fighting corruption, supporting civic participation, and combating discrimination.”
Orban and far-right activists have attacked Soros for well over a year, waging a campaign that has involved billboards and other advertisements. Many, including Soros himself, say the campaign is anti-Semitic.
In May the foundation announced it was closing its operations in Hungaryand relocating to Germany in response to the “repressive” policies of Orban’s government.
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