George Soros has urged the European Union to continue pressing Poland and Hungary to preserve the rule of law.
Speaking at the Brussels Economic Forum, the American billionaire financier said he welcomed the EU’s recent tough words on both countries which critics accuse of being increasingly authoritarian.
Thousands of people have turned out for recent protest in support of Soros’ CEU university, which is under attack from the Hungarian government.
“I am full of admiration for the courageous way the Hungarian people have resisted the deception and corruption of the mafia state the Orban regime has established,” Soros said.
“I’m also encouraged by the energetic way the European institutions have responded to the challenge emanating from Poland and Hungary,” he added.
A Hungarian government spokesman said Soros had a clear political agenda and the organisations funded by him were pursuing this.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has portrayed Soros as a financial speculator who supports mass immigration into Europe.
Soros also warned the EU that it’s facing an “existential crisis”, saying the bloc should not let protracted Brexit talks distract it from making vital reforms.
He called for a “multi-speed and multi-track” Europe that allows member states a wider variety of democratic choices.