Soros university plans move to Vienna

The Central European University (CEU) will move from Budapest to Vienna, according to its rector. The university, which is financed by George Soros, came under pressure after the Orbán government passed a law stipulating that foreign universities operating in Hungary must also be active in their home countries.

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Figyelő (HU) /

University exceeding its competences

To comply with the law and be active in its country of origin the university entered a collaboration with Bard College in New York. The bilateral agreement demanded by Hungary was signed by the State of New York, but Hungary has so far refused to sign it. The right-wing weekly Figyelö finds the CEU's threats to move to Vienna unacceptable:

“The CEU clearly doesn't know what its role is. It has sent a message to the Hungarian government that can be interpreted as an ultimatum. Rector Michael Ignatieff announced: If the government doesn't sign the agreement by December 1, the CEU will move to Vienna. ... The Soros university has also taken part in political actions in the past and organised countless demonstrations in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in April. But since the government's third election victory with a two-thirds majority it feels threatened.”

Mérce (HU) /

Tyranny triumphs once again

With the Central European University's departure one of the last remaining pro-West institutions would be leaving Hungary, the left-wing website Mérce laments:

“It hurts that the CEU is leaving. It hurts because this highlights once again how complete the rule of tyranny is. How long we are allowed to do what we do depends on the mercy of our tyrants. ... It hurts because one of the last places in the country that was 'developed', 'cultured' and 'Western' will cease to exist. A place where one could really believe one was somewhere other than in the country of the parliament that resides just a few hundred metres away from the CEU. An intellectual oasis, a place of freedom that was a small consolation for many people - and above all for those who are most repressed by the tyranny - will disappear.”

Adevărul (RO) /

Orbán making a stupid mistake

You have to be a fool to take on a university, Adevărul believes:

“What Viktor Orbán does not say is that it's not the 'evil' George Soros sitting in the calm of his house in London who's his worst enemy. ... No, Viktor Orbán's worst enemy is Viktor Orbán himself. The fact that he's fighting with a university - an institution where freedom thrives - is either a form of political stupidity or masochism. ... Attacking a place of freedom where you learn to think critically is an act of political desperation that any clear-thinking citizen with an understanding of democracy will see through.”

Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Soros-bashing should shock and dismay us

Orbán's constant attempts to cast Soros as an enemy hark back to dark times, columnist Ferruccio de Bortoli writes in Corriere del Ticino:

“The fascination that extremism exerts particularly on young people in Eastern Europe is worrying. The preferred target of this ready-made wave of hatred and false news is the Hungarian-born financier George Soros. He is being cast - as was done in similar cases in the 1930s - as the prototypical Jew, a moneyed monster who poisons the economy and impoverishes the lower classes. This witch-hunt spearheaded by the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán should shock us and give us pause for thought.”