George Soros has scored a legal victory after the Supreme Court of Hungary (Curia) ruled that a municipality and school district in central Hungary must pay a huge fine for its treatment of Roma children.
The small Hungarian town of Gyöngyöspata must now pay a total of 100 million forints (€303,200) in reparation to the families of 62 Roma children who were in a segregated classroom for a few years. The segregation began in 2003, a period when Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was not in power.
The legal proceedings on behalf of the families were initiated, coordinated and financed by the foundation A Chance for Disadvantaged Children, part of George Soros’s network of Hungarian NGOs.
Shortly after the verdict, the local MP of the governing Fidesz conservative party, László Horváth, said at a press conference that the fine will put the municipality of Gyöngyöspata, with a population of 2,476, in an untenable situation, as the fine is equal to the town’s budget for two years.
“This fine, which is twice as much as the municipality’s annual budget, puts the town in a dramatic situation,” Horváth said.
He added that the segregation happened a decade ago, at a time when the school “was in a very difficult situation, marred by daily violence”.
He added that while the school’s response of segregating the Roma children was wrong, it has since been gradually rectified beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.
Horváth said the Soros-backed foundation may have succeeded in its goal was to create a legal precedent.
“The organization financed by the Soros network has created the conditions and financing for the lengthy legal procedure only to ensure such a price tag on segregation was put in place, which was their aim all along,” Horváth said.
One of Hungary’s leading columnists, Zsolt Bayer, pointed out in an opinion article the duplicity of the legal procedure and verdict:
“Lest we forget, according to the Curia ruling, the segregation has been instituted in 2003. But somehow nobody was interested in it until a right-wing government came to power in 2010. Is it clear enough? At times when right-wing governments are in power, then racism and anti-Semitism have to be highlighted, even if it cripples an entire town.”
In the Hungarian legal system, the decision of the Curia is final and can only be contested in an international court.