Soros-Funded Hungarian University Will Close

Mar 29, 2017 by

The crown jewel of billionaire financier George Soros’s educational and philanthropic network in Europe condemned a Hungarian draft bill targeting foreign-funded universities and said it’s aimed at shutting it down.

In a showdown with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Central European University, established by Soros in 1991, said a bill submitted to parliament by Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog targets the school “directly” and must be withdrawn. Balog, who’s in charge of education, said “national security considerations” and ensuring that university courses meet “foreign policy priorities” required amending current legislation.

Soros speaks at CEU in 2012.

Photographer: Lajos Soos/MTI/AP Photos

“The bill is a threat to our continued existence in Hungary,” Michael Ignatieff, the president of CEU, told reporters in Budapest on Wednesday. “This is an institution that doesn’t bow to intimidation or force.”

Orban, who has vowed to purse an “illiberal democracy” modeled on those in Russia and Turkey, is stepping up a campaign to sideline opposition voices. One of Europe’s strongest advocates of U.S. President Donald Trump, the former anti-communist student leader has overseen the most extensive centralization of power in Hungary since the fall of the Iron Curtain after returning to office in 2010. The U.S. criticized the draft bill.

Source: Soros-Funded University Pledges to Fight Hungarian Crackdown – Bloomberg

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