Soros goes from Hungary

Poland's Prime Minister Morawiecki meets his Hungarian counterpart Orban in Warsaw

The inspiration of billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, is relocating its headquarters to Berlin from Budapest within the wake of an "more and more repressive" setting in Hungary.

"It has become impossible to protect the security of our operations and our staff in Hungary from arbitrary government interference", said Patrick Gaspard, OSF president in Tuesday's statement.

The organization announced his retirement a day after the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced the tightening of restrictions on the activities of non-governmental organizations in accordance with the law, dubbed "Stop Soros".

The legislation was an extension of Orban's re-election campaign, which featured strong anti-immigration themes and populist appeals to the conservative, Christian population of Hungary. The government has cited national security concerns, and Orban has accused Soros of working to undermine Europe's cultural identity by working to bring large numbers of migrants to the continent.

The government did not comment immediately on the decision.

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The building that houses the Budapest offices of the Open Society Foundations in Budapest, Hungary.

Soros's Open Society Foundations (OSF) organisation said it would continue to support human rights work in Hungary as well as projects linked to arts, media freedom, transparency, education and health care.

The new legislation restricts the work of NGOs that receive foreign funding, imposing a punitive 25% overhead tax on donations.

Government pressure shows no sign of easing, however: Mr Orban said recently that he would not "shed crocodile tears" over the OSF, and he backed a pro-government magazine's publication of a list of more than 200 Hungarian NGO staff, academics and journalists whom it called "Soros mercenaries".

The prestigious Soros-founded Central European University (CEU) is also waging a battle against Orban after a higher education law was passed past year that it says threatens its survival in Hungary.

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