59 percent of respondents do not believe that NGOs are setting up “immigration organizing offices” to execute the “Soros-plan”, according to a recent poll conducted by Policy Agenda at the request of news site zoom.hu.
Even though the Hungarian government has spent tens of millions of dollars demonizing George Soros and civil society, only 27 percent of the Hungarian society agree with the statement “there are civil organizations in Hungary that seek to open immigration offices to help implement the Soros-plan.”
It comes as no surprise that voters of the ruling Fidesz party are the most receptive to the conspiracy theories of the government propaganda, with 39 percent of them believing that NGOs are seeking to open immigration offices to settle scores of Muslim immigrants in Hungary as per the “Soros-plan”.
What is remarkable, however, is that even the majority of Fidesz voters, some 52 percent, do not agree with the statement. The vast majority of left-wing-liberal voters (78 percent) reject the statement, but even among them, 16 percent believe the government propaganda. 66 percent of Jobbik voters reject the statement, while 24 percent agree with it. Undecided voters also reject the statement by a ratio of nearly three to one.
At the end of last year, Open Society Foundations (OSF), founded by Hungarian-American financier-philanthropist Soros, announced that it would dispense hundreds of thousands of dollars to various civil initiatives in Hungary’s Dél-Dunántúl (Southern Transdanubia) and Észak-Alföld (Northern Great Plain) regions. As a part of the project, OSF announced plans to open offices in the university cities of Pécs and Debrecen. Two weeks after the announcement, Pécs’s Fidesz mayor Zsolt Páva and Fidesz MP Péter Hoppál called on residents of the southern Hungarian city not to rent offices to the Emberség Erejével Alapítvány (With the Power of Humanity Foundation, WPHF), the recipient of a HUF 130 million (USD 500,000) grant from OSF to regrant to local organizations. Shortly thereafter, city councils of Debrecen and Székesfehérvár adopted similar resolutions condemning Soros and organizations funded by OSF.
At the height of the anti-Soros-NGO hysteria, the Alliance of the Seats of County Government (MJVSZ) headed by Kaposvár’s Fidesz mayor Károly Szita organized an anti-Soros, anti-NGO, anti-immigration conference in Budapest. The conference turned out to be only an overture for the “Stop Soros” legislative package that would essentially allow the government to impose penalties on organizations deemed to be supporting illegal immigration.