Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organizations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's party.
The European Union member will use "all the tools at its disposal" to "sweep out" NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born financier, which "serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments," Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, told reporters on Tuesday. No one answered the phone at the Open Society Institute in Budapest when Bloomberg News called outside business hours.
"I feel that there is an opportunity for this, internationally," because of Trump's election, state news service MTI reported Nemeth as saying. Lawmakers will start debating a bill to let authorities audit NGO executives, according to parliament's legislative agenda.
The most important business stories of the day.
Orban, the first European leader to publicly back Trump's campaign, has ignored criticism from the European Commission and U.S. President Barack Obama's administration for building a self-described "illiberal state" modeled on authoritarian regimes including Russia, China and Turkey. In 2014, Orban personally ordered the state audit agency to probe foundations financed by Norway and said that civil society groups financed from abroad were covers for "paid political activists."
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Photographer: Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Orban and his administration have frequently singled out NGOs supported by Soros, a U.S. Democratic Party supporter with a wide network of organizations that promote democracy in formerly communist eastern Europe.