Soros's money used to finance groups opposing Hungarian investment
Videos showing politicians harassing local residents in the eastern city of Debrecen, or activists screaming during public hearings have been doing the rounds across the entire spectrum of Hungary's leftist-liberal media. As it turns out, the association behind the incidents has also received money from George Soros, something the association's vice president even admitted to Mediaworks. According to Debrecen's mayor, a key investment has become a playground for politics.
Meanwhile, according to an article published by the Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet, a certain organisation called Alternative Communities Association began to organise demonstrations last year against the battery factory being built. Since 2017, this organisation has received a total of 2.2 million dollars from the Open Society Foundations, i.e. the organisation of George Soros. Once the association found itself in the crosshairs, it issued a statement denying that it has anything to do with organising protests. In the same statement, it also listed some ideas as to what it could do to assist those protesting the construction of the battery factory.
The vice president of the association confirmed to Mediaworks that they received money from one Soros’s organisations, specifically to expand the capacity of civil organisations.
“We are not participating in the events in any way, we’re just observing them as Debrecen residents,” VP Agnes Molnar stressed. At the same time, she confirmed, and this is also clear from the association’s statement, that they will provide a venue for any event, and they have the ways and means to “develop” NGOs.
Local residents interviewed by Mediaworks are divided on the issue. Some were concerned that the battery factory could pose a health risk, and feared the deterioration of water, or even air quality. But many were puzzled by the situation, and complained that activists from Budapest or other cities were coming to Debrecen to stir up tensions.
“We can clearly state that political incitement is taking place,”
Debrecen mayor Laszlo Papp told Mediaworks. An important economic development project for Hungary has become a political playground, the mayor said, adding that the leftist parties are doing their utmost to exploit people’s fears to make the situation impossible. However, the city administration has a big and serious role to play in reassuring local residents, the mayor concluded.