Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his government are once again going after billionaire investor George Soros with a nationwide campaign.
The government is set to launch a “national consultation” to get eligible voters’ opinions on a number of issues, including the European Union’s mandatory migrant quotas. Lajos Kosa, the vice chairman of Orban’s Fidesz party, said Thursday that the consultation will focus on what the government claims is a plan by Soros, who was born in Hungary, to push for mass immigration to Europe.
“The European Commission stops just short of saying that they carry out the Soros plan … but all their steps and ideas with regard to migration point in this direction,” Kosa said, according to Reuters.
The frosty relationship between Orban and Soros reached an all-time low after Hungary passed education reforms in March that could threaten the future of the Soros-funded Central European University in Budapest. Soros lashed out at Orban, describing his “mafia state” as “one which maintains a facade of democracy.”
The government subsequently launched a poster campaign across Budapest with the message, “Don’t let Soros get the last laugh!” The Orban administration has also pushed for legislation that would force transparency on Soros’ NGOs.
“In Hungarian public life there is a single important element which is not transparent: Soros’s mafia-style network and its agent organizations,” Orban’s spokesman Zoltan Kovacs told media.
“This is why the government insisted that parliament decide on making these organizations transparent, as the Hungarian people have the right to know who represents what and for what purpose.”
Kovacs further called the fight against Soros “a matter of national security.”
“The Hungarian standpoint is that illegal migration is clearly a matter of national security,” Kovacs added.
“We shall mobilize the political and legal power of the Hungarian state against anyone who undermines the security of Hungary – regardless of their origins, religious affiliation or wealth.”
Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, described Orban’s accusations as “fantasy” in a statement.
“Soros’s position is entirely consistent with mainstream European values,” Vachon said.
“The Hungarian regime’s xenophobia and demonization of refugees are anti-European. The claim that Soros is promoting a scheme to import a million illegal immigrants into Europe is Viktor Orban’s fantasy.”