Soros-founded School Says It Is Being Forced Out of Hungary

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Viktor Orban, Hungary's prime minister and George Soros.
Viktor Orban, Hungary's prime minister and George Soros.Credit: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg, Thomas Peter/Reuters

Hungary's Central European University founded by George Soros said on Monday that it would enroll new students for its U.S. degrees in Vienna from September 2019 after the government failed to ratify a deal to ensure its continued operation.

"CEU has been forced out," said CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff. "A U.S. institution has been driven out of a country that is a NATO ally. A European institution has been ousted from a member state of the EU."

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U.S. billionaire Soros, who promotes liberal causes through his charities, has been locked in a bitter disagreement with Hungary's conservative anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban's right-wing government.

Read more: Why Netanyahu Hates George Soros So Much - Analysis

In late September, the international philanthropic organization founded by Soros said filed applications before the European Court of Human Rights and Hungary's Constitutional Court to challenge recent laws in Hungary targeting civic groups working with refugees and asylum-seekers.

James Goldston, director of the Open Society Foundations' legal team, told The Associated Press at the time that the legal action is aimed at countering laws "designed to intimidate and silence independent voices in Hungary."

The Open Society Foundations support some of the civic groups targeted by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's unyielding anti-immigration policies.

Hungary passed in June legislation dubbed "Stop Soros" that threatens to incarcerate for up to one year people helping asylum-seekers. In July Hungarian lawmakers approved a 25 percent tax on financial or material support for groups promoting migration.

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