Hungarian Crackdown on Soros-Funded Universities

By Earnest Wright, The Goldwater · 03-30-2017
Photo credit: M-sur | Dreamstime.com

A Hungarian draft bill is targeting foreign-funded universities. This has provoked the Soros-funded Universities to pledge that they are going to resist the Hungarian crackdown.

The Central European University was established by Soros back in 1991. The institution faced off with Prime Minister Viktor Orban claiming that a bill submitted to parliament by Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog targets the school directly and must be withdrawn.

Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog oversees education. He emphasized that national security considerations and making sure that the Universities courses meet foreign policy priorities called for the current legislation to be amended.

The President of CEU, Michael Ignatief, told reporters in Budapest that the bill is a threat to continued existence of the Central European University in Hungary. Ignatief emphasized that the institution doesn’t bow to intimidation.

A campaign is being stepped up to sideline opposition voices. Orban has been one of Europe’s strongest advocates of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Orban has promised to reward an intolerant democracy that will be modeled on those in Turkey and Russia. The U.S. is not comfortable with the draft bill.

The Hungarian government proposed the legislation that would heavily impact the operations of the Central European University in Budapest. The U.S. is very concerned about this issue.

David Kostelancik is the U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Hungary, he revealed in an email statement that the U.S. opposes any efforts to compromise the operations or independence of the CEU University.

The draft bill calls for the regulations to be tightened on non-EU Universities that issue diplomas in Hungary. The move will force such institutions to close down if there’s no bilateral agreement with the home countries.

The Central European University is accredited both in Hungary and the U.S. the institution does not have such an agreement. There’s also another rule that calls for universities to have a campus in their home countries as well. CEU does not meet that regulation.

Education Ministry State Secretary Laszlo Palkovics told reporters that universities that don’t meet the new criteria would be barred from enrolling new students in September of next year.

The Education Secretary promised that Hungary would support the signing of a bilateral accord with the U.S. to ensure CEU continues its activities.

President Donald Trump has accused George Soros of being part of a global power structure that has robbed the working class. Orban has severally denounced Soros for his support for open borders in Europe.

The Hungarian Leader has responded by building fences to keep out migrants. Some of the border policies that the Hungarian leader has instituted are reported to be breaching human rights.

Hungary is not the only country that has targeted Soros-funded organizations. President Vladimir Putin banned Soros organizations back in 2015. Putin emphasized that they are a threat to the country’s constitution and security.

The Hungarian leader had pushed another legislative proposal to sweep out non-governmental organizations that are funded by Soros. The bill is yet to be published.

SOURCE: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-29/soros-s-university-caught-in-orban-campaign-as-ceu-protests-law

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