Hungarian-born US financier George Soros has criticised Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the Hungarian government’s politics in a video message published by his Open Society Foundation.
In a series of three video messages, Soros talked about his childhood and his foundations’ work in Hungary. In the film entitled “George Soros on the present situation in Hungary”, he noted that back in the 1980s his foundation had promoted efforts to found Fidesz, Hungary’s current governing party. Further, it had also funded Orbán’s studies in Oxford, he said.
He noted that Orbán had been one of the politicians who had paved the way for Hungary’s transition from communism to democracy. Since then, however, he has completely changed and replaced democracy with an anti-democratic regime, Soros said.
“He has created … a mafia regime whose leaders use their positions to keep themselves in power and personally enrich themselves,” Soros said.
“Hungary’s current regime is squarely opposed to what we wanted to promote,” he said.
Soros said his relationship with the prime minister had deteriorated, but the conflict was not personal.
“We have an unbridgeable conflict of principles,” he said.
The financier insisted that
Hungary’s “current system is more oppressive than it was during the Soviet occupation.
At that time it was easier to transmit help and information to Hungarian society.”
Soros said that albeit he himself does not live in Hungary, those whom he supports experience “persecution”. Orbán sees them as opponents and intends to remove them from the country, he said.
Soros called the Central European University a “great success” and vowed to continue to fund it even in exile if Orban drives it out of the country, until “Orbán disappears”.
As we wrote on Thursday, George Soros’s Open Society Foundation is planning to assist civil groups in the provinces with “several hundred thousand” US dollars as part of the billionaire’s new strategy to “counter attacks by the Hungarian government”.