Hungary has officially closed down and banned a George Soros university from operating in the country, amid a complete crackdown on the billionaire’s activities in the country.
Students and staff at the Central European University (CEU) were advised to leave the building, after Prime Minister Viktor Orban ordered the closure.
The announcement comes after millions of Europeans across the continent have taken to the streets in their thousands, demanding that governments reject George Soros’ globalist influence immediately.
Education Secretary Laszlo Palkovics said the proposed legislation followed a review of 28 foreign universities operating in Hungary, including the CEU in Budapest.
“This is not an anti-CEU investigation and not against Mr Soros,” he said.
The Hungary-born billionaire founded the university in 1991 and continues to fund it.
He wanted the CEU to be a bastion of liberal thought and promote the values of an open society and democracy.
But the university appears to have become the latest target in a campaign by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government against liberal values.
The government says the CEU and other foreign-funded universities are operating outside the law, and that the new legislation aims to create a new legal footing.
But CEU Rector Michael Ignatieff says the university is fully legal and the new law has been designed to disable it.
“We will defend our achievements vigorously against anyone who seeks to defame our work in the eyes of the Hungarian people,” he said.
The new rules would force the CEU to change its name, set up a campus in New York, change its curriculum and become subservient to both the US and Hungarian governments.
Protesting staff and students are now seeking the support of other universities, both in Hungary and worldwide.
It comes at a time of deteriorating relations between US President Donald Trump and Soros, who recently described the new occupant of the White Houseas “an imposter, a [political] conman and a would-be dictator”.
Relations between Mr. Soros and Mr. Orban – a keen supporter of the US president – also became strained when Mr Orban accused him of wanting a role in Hungarian politics and supporting the influx of migrants into Europe.
Mr Orban recently claimed Hungary was “under siege” from asylum seekers.
The prime minister won a scholarship sponsored by Mr Soros to study at Oxford university and the pair were allies in the days immediately following the fall of communism.
But with the two now at loggerheads, NGOs partially funded by Mr Soros’ Open Society Foundation are under pressure to close in Hungary.