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George Soros university under threat in Hungary

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 01:43

A Hungarian university founded by liberal financier George Soros is under threat of closure by its government. But the U.S. is pressuring Budapest to keep it open, despite Soros being a common enemy of President Donald Trump. Matthew Larotonda reports.

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Pressure mounting for Hungary to suspend a law that could close a university founded by the heavy-hitting financier and philanthropist George Soros. Days of protests in the capital of Budapest as the United States and European Union call on the country's prime minister, Viktor Orban, to reconsider. And now, signs of compromise. The education minister suggesting Soros' school could stay open, if it extends an agreement to teach courses from another Hungarian university. The incident is a story of odd bedfellows. Because Soros, who was born in Hungary, is a fierce opponent of U.S. President Donald Trump -- donating at least $10.5 million to Hillary Clinton's campaign last election, according to a watchdog group. And he's also a major financier to international civic organisations scrutinized by Trump's Republican allies. But this week it was the Trump administration's State Department that came to the defense of Soros' school, called the Central European University. A State Department spokesperson fearing the law could also effect other American university programs in Hungary. The law demands that foreign powers such as the U.S. secure permission for private schools to operate in Hungary. A request unlikely to be granted from right-wing Prime Minister Orban, who has vilified Soros' liberal history. The anti-migrant, anti-EU Orban was one of the only European leaders who endorsed Trump's run for the White House. Yet despite the mutual enemy in Soros, it doesn't look like they'll be joining forces on this debate.

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George Soros university under threat in Hungary

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 01:43