Govt submits ‘Stop Soros’ bill to parliament

The government on Wednesday submitted its beefed-up “Stop Soros” bill, which covers the conditions by which migration support organisations may operate and a tax on donations made to those NGOs among other measures. The bill requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

Earlier today, Bence Tuzson, the government communications state secretary, told public radio that “a couple of opposition” lawmakers were likely to vote for the government bill.
Noting the results of an earlier public survey on the issue of the “Soros Plan”, the preamble to the draft law says the bill reflects the desire of Hungarians for strong border protections and steps to be taken against organisations that aid “illegal migration”. The body of the text merely refers to groups organising migration.

The government said its “significantly stricter” version of the bill concerned the clause that obliges organisations that “promote migration” to register their activities. They must seek the interior minister’s permission to organise, support or fund migration, and the national security implications of their request will be taken into account.

Justice ministry state secretary Pal Volner said the clause in the law tying support for migration to the obtainment of ministerial permission requires an amendment to Hungary’s national security law. He said organisations will have the option of appealing the minister’s decision on procedural grounds.

If an organisation supports, funds or organises migration without permission, it will be given a warning by the public prosecutor to cease its activities and its tax number will be suspended, Volner said. If the organisation in question still fails to heed the prosecutor’s warning, it will receive a fine of up to 1.8 million forints (EUR 5,770), he said. If it still refuses to comply, the organisation will face legal action which could end with its dissolution as an NGO in Hungary.

The clause in the bill requiring migration-support organisations to pay a 25 percent tax on donations received from abroad has been left intact but under the amended bill, this would not apply to organisations that “do not use those donations for such purposes”.
The third element of the “Stop Soros” bill would give the interior minister the power to set up an 8km exclusion zone running along the country’s borders with a view to keeping entities away from the border “whose stay or activity in Hungary is in contravention of the national security interests of Hungary or endangers the public interest”.

Source and photo: MTI

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