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George Soros decries Hungary's PM Orban for anti-Semitic attacks 'reminiscent of the 1930s'

  • Soros says he had been targeted by an administration "stoking anti-Muslim sentiment and employing anti-Semitic tropes reminiscent of the 1930s."
  • In July, Prime Minister Viktor Orban launched a nationwide television and billboard advertising campaign accusing Soros of devising Europe's refugee influx.
  • The Hungarian premier has often vilified Soros, whose ideals are squarely at odds with Orban's view that European culture is under an existential threat from migration and multiculturalism.
George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations, arrives for a meeting in Brussels, on April 27, 2017.
OLIVIER HOSLET | AFP | Getty Images
George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations, arrives for a meeting in Brussels, on April 27, 2017.

Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros is denouncing a propaganda campaign waged against him by the government in his native country.

Soros, whose political views are in stark contrast to Budapest's ruling Fidesz party, said Monday he had been targeted by an administration "stoking anti-Muslim sentiment and employing anti-Semitic tropes reminiscent of the 1930s."

In a statement published on his website, Soros also rejected seven statements in a "national consultation" orchestrated by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government, which claimed he wanted to settle at least 1 million migrants a year in Europe and pay them each thousands of euros.

The Hungarian prime minister has often vilified the Jewish-born investor, whose ideals are squarely at odds with Orban's view that European culture is under an existential threat from migration and multiculturalism. Orban has previously described Western liberalism as "spiritual suicide" for Central Europeans.

'Lies and distortions'

Orban launched a nationwide television and billboard advertising campaign in July accusing Soros of devising Europe's refugee crisis. Critics of Orban's drive to condemn the 87-year-old investor said posters were not dissimilar to the anti-Semitic imagery of the 1930s, which portrayed Jews as political manipulators.

Billboard campaign by the Hungarian government shows George Soros smiling next to the words "Let's not let Soros have the last laugh." The graffiti translates to "dirty Jew."
Photo: Akos Stiller
Billboard campaign by the Hungarian government shows George Soros smiling next to the words "Let's not let Soros have the last laugh." The graffiti translates to "dirty Jew."

Meanwhile, the Fidesz party sent out 8 million letters to Hungarian citizens last month, attempting to provide further detail about Soros' alleged political agenda.

Soros responded publicly for the first time Monday and said attacks from Hungary's government contained "lies and distortions" that were designed to create an "outside enemy."

— CNBC's Karen Gilchrist contributed to this report.