Soros says Hungarian government a ‘threat’ to civil society

History

At George Soros’s annual media dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, the Hungarian-born billionaire investor and philanthropist criticized the Hungarian government as a threat to civil society, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

“The threats being made by members of the Hungarian government against Hungarian civil society are an affront to the values of the European Union and to the commitment to the rule of law on which it has been built over decades,” Soros said speaking at Davos, according to the press statement. “Civil society is a vital component of democracy, and so is open debate about public policy. I have dedicated my foundations and my life to promoting open society: The current Hungarian government stands for the exact opposite.”

Soros added that “Hungary greatly benefits from its membership in the EU. In that light, the current government’s attempt to intimidate and discredit civil society is totally unacceptable.”

Soros was presumably commenting on the governmentʼs recent communication in connection with NGOs in Hungary, in which Szilárd Németh, a vice president and MP of the governing party Fidesz, said he would like to see NGOs such as the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Transparency International “cleaned out” of the country, according to reports. 

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