Hungary: Protesters rally in defense of university, NGOs

At least 5,000 protesters are marching in downtown Budapest, calling on Hungary’s government to repeal legal amendments which could force a university founded by an American philanthropist to leave the country.

Participants at Sunday’s rally also want Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government to abandon a bill that is viewed as an effort to intimidate civic groups that receive foreign funding.

Orban’s Fidesz party says the protest is an attempt by the “network” of Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros to pressure the government into changing its anti-migration policy. Soros is the founder of Central European University and a supporter of non-governmental groups in Hungary.

The European Union has initiated legal proceedings against Hungary because of the university issue. Orban says the government wants to eliminate the advantage CEU has over other Hungarian universities.