Politics

Lex CEU: PM Orbán Warns EPP Group Leader Not To Believe What Soros-Friendly “Lobbyists” Say

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has cautioned Manfred Weber, group leader of the European People’s Party, to handle carefully issues around Budapest’s Central European University, news portal origo.hu reported on Thursday.

The Prime Minister has information that Weber has been approached by “lobbyists” and he wrote to the group leader to warn him of “statements based on false information” concerning the “Soros university” recently made by politicians “otherwise well-wishing and friendly towards Hungary”, the portal said. One of those statements suggested that the Hungarian government aimed to close down a university thus violating the freedom of education, it added. In his letter, Orbán said it had been established that the false information had come from organisations or people associated with Hungarian-born US financier George Soros, and recommended the Hungarian government’s official statements as “describing the actual legal situation,” Bertalan Havasi, the prime minister’s press chief, confirmed Origo.hu’s information.

Budapest, 2017. április 6. Lázár János, a Miniszterelnökséget vezetõ miniszter érkezik szokásos heti sajtótájékoztatójára az Országházban 2017. április 6-án. MTI Fotó: Illyés Tibor
Cabinet Chief János Lázár arriving to his weekly press briefing on Thursday (photo: Tibor Illyés – MTI)

Meanwhile, Hungarian cabinet chief János Lázár insisted at his weekly press breiefing on Thursday afternoon that Hungary’s recently amended higher education law does not restrict freedoms in education and research or the autonomy of universities. The government aims to create equal opportunities in education and clear rules on competition, and to eliminate drawbacks for Hungarian universities, Lázár said.

The Hungarian government is “ready to respond to Brussels, Washington and Berlin”. Financier “[George] Soros and his network” has put those capitals under “serious pressure”, Lázár insisted, adding that “Hungary is being lobbied against”. “We will protect the country from those groupings,” he said. Lázár said the Hungarian government opposes Soros’ views on migration, but this should not be conflated with the issue surrounding the higher education amendments. The government’s problem is with Soros, but this “has nothing to do with” the Central European University, its students or professors, Lázár insisted.

What Soros has done over the past years in connection with illegal migration is against Hungary’s national security interests, he said. “We cannot tolerate having someone bring migrants to our border and forcing our hand,” the government office chief said. János Lázár said the government’s aim is to stop migration, while Soros’s is to organise it. He said having “Soros-affiliated organisations” sue Hungary in an effort to force it to open up its borders was also “unacceptable”.

via MTI and origo.hu