Hungary announces new “illegal immigration” tax on NGOs
The Hungarian government has announced a new set of laws to tax NGOs supporting “illegal migration”, in a measure aimed at organisations funded by US billionaire George Soros, accused by Prime Minister Viktor Orban of wanting mass immigration into the EU and Hungry.
The NGOs concerned will be subject to a 25 percent tax on their foreign funding, the proceeds of which will be used for the defence of the country’s borders.
The draft law, due to be submitted to Parliament in February, would also ban foreign nationals suspected of facilitating the entry of asylum seekers into Hungary.
Strongly opposed to any “illegal immigration”, Orban had a barbed-wire fence erected a along the Serbian and Croatian borders with Hungary in 2015 and for several months has been campaigning against Soros, whom Budapest accuses of facilitating “mass immigration” to the EU.
The Hungarian-born billionaire, who funds several civil rights NGOs in the country, has refuted the allegations.
Last June, Hungary adopted a law obliging NGOs receiving more than 24,000 euros of foreign funding per year to register with the authorities and declare themselves as foreign funded, which led the EU to begin an infringement procedure against Hungary.
The new offensive against Soros comes as Orban, who will seek a third consecutive term in legislative elections in April, is being heckled by his opposition after the publication of statistics showing Hungary accepted 1,291 refugees in 2017, in apparent contradiction to government policy.
The Hungarian government, however, has said that it has simply complied with its international asylum obligations and has never kept the number a secret.
The European Commission in December sent three countries, including Hungary, to the European courts for refusing EU refugee quotas.