The government stepped up its campaign against civil society groups by announcing on January 17 a surreal package of draft legislation dubbed the "Stop Soros" plan. The proposals would make it possible to issue restraining orders against those taking part in organised illegal immigration by their own account. The text of the legislation will be available on Thursday, when it will be put up for social consultation.
Organisations that undertake a role in facilitating illegal migration will have to register in court and report on their activity, Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said during the break of the extraordinary press briefing. If their receive the majority of their funding from foreign sources, then a 25% tax will be imposed.
The legislation would make it possible to issue restraining orders against those taking part in organised illegal immigration, Pinter said, adding that such restraining order would apply in an area that is within 8km of the Schengen border.
The restraining order will not be applicable to diplomats and UN representatives, or to members of parliament who could have an official role within the given field. The reporting of the data will be self-based and voluntary.
When asked whether the government would want to ban George Soros, Pinter said: “I don't believe that George Soros has so far told anyone he is taking part in the organisation of such activities, that is facilitating illegal migration. We are expecting law-abiding behaviour from everyone, thus everyone will have to report it voluntarily on their own account if they are involved in such activities”, he added.
Opposition parties and political analysts say Pinter's comment highlights the absurdity of the proposal, as, in just a few seconds, the Interior Minister has just contradicted the government's official stance for years on the alleged involvement of Soros in promoting mass migration.
The Hungarian born philanthropist has served as the bogeyman for the ruling conservative Fidesz in the last two years. The cabinet has spent tens of billions of forints on campaigns and on national consultation surveys blasting Soros and Brussels for promoting illegal immigration.
The latest announcement comes just after days that the story broke on how the government secretly gave admission to 1,300 refugees seeking asylum last year and 2,300 since 2015.
The news has been an embarrassment for the Orban-government, which has even defied a court ruling by the ECJ to allow the resettlement of some 1,300 migrants under the EU's relocation scheme.
The Hungarian Civil Liberty Union TASZ said it will not abide by the new regulation. The legislation, if it enters into force, will not be executable, as it is against the EU values and norms, head of TASZ Jozsef Martin told local news television.