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Austria's Kurz meets with billionaire George Soros to discuss CEU move to Vienna

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By Amy Chung  & Rita Palfi
Austria's Kurz meets with billionaire George Soros to discuss CEU move to Vienna

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz met with billionaire George Soros on Sunday to discuss moving the Central European University from Hungary to Vienna, according to the politician's Twitter account.

The CEU has given the Hungarian government a December 1 deadline to decide if the Soros-backed university will be allowed to remain in Budapest - a pressing decision to help the institution prepare for the next academic year. The CEU opened its doors after the fall of the Berlin Wall, offering students both Hungarian and American accredited degrees, but has been accused by the Hungarian government of operating without full legal compliance, according to Reuters.

According to local reports, the CEU will be able to occupy a building of the 100-year-old Otto Wagner hospital near Schönbrunn next spring if it moves and it would be prepared to accept students of the next 2019/2020 academic year.

Soros has been a popular target for prime minister Viktor Orban, who drafted and passed a "Stop Soros" law named after the Hungarian-born investor earlier this year, saying he was promoting and supporting illegal migration. This law, according to Vox, said it would "essentially, [be] banning individuals and organisations from providing any kind of assistance to undocumented immigrants. This is so broadly worded that, in theory, the government could arrest someone who provides food to an undocumented migrant on the street or attends a political rally in favour of their rights."