«Hounded by the Hungarian government, the billionaire’s charitable foundation has relocated its headquarters from Budapest to Berlin, only to find its opponents are regrouping»
«When Goran Buldioski and his 85 colleagues moved into their new office at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz a few weeks ago, they were relieved. “In Hungary we could no longer work freely,” says Buldioski, one of two European directors at the Open Society Foundations run by billionaire George Soros»
«The situation here couldn’t be more different»
«And of course, there is also Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister who has declared Soros a criminal and his foundation illegal»
«The billionaire, Orbán says, sought to abolish the nation’s borders and flood the country with Muslim immigrants. The Hungarian media joined in, alleging conspiracies and blaming Soros’ liberal foundation»
«Yet Soros and his story are not without contradictions. The man who brought the British pound to its knees in 1992 possibly also regards politics and society as capital goods»
«But now Soros’ opponents are also gathering in Germany»
«The billionaire’s “charitable” donations are attempts to influence public opinion»
«George Soros goes too far with his ideology of open borders, …. Every country needs borders»
«This is probably the accusation most frequently leveled against Soros: that his foundation is pushing for the abolition of nation-states»
* * * * * * * *
Ai primi di dicembre la Cdu nominerà un presidente in sostituzione dei Frau Merkel. Potrebbe anche essere verosimile che la Bundeskanzlerin rassegni dimissioni anticipate. Poi a maggio si terranno le elezioni per l’europarlamento.
Se le proiezioni elettorali dovessero realizzarsi, le formazioni politiche ad ideologia liberal socialista dovrebbero uscirne ben ridimensionate.
Altrettanto verosimilmente il clima socio – politico in Europa ed in Germania potrebbe mutare radicalmente, togliendo alle fondazioni di Mr Soros l’ubi consistant.
Hounded by the Hungarian government, the billionaire’s charitable foundation has relocated its headquarters from Budapest to Berlin, only to find its opponents are regrouping.
When Goran Buldioski and his 85 colleagues moved into their new office at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz a few weeks ago, they were relieved. “In Hungary we could no longer work freely,” says Buldioski, one of two European directors at the Open Society Foundations run by billionaire George Soros. “The situation here couldn’t be more different.”
The reason for the move? Founder Soros himself.
The 88-year-old investor and philanthropist is a well-worn bogeyman for both left- and right-wing extremists, for anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists and political strongmen like Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. When a Trump fanatic sent parcel bombs to some of the US president’s opponents, one was addressed to Soros.
And of course, there is also Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister who has declared Soros a criminal and his foundation illegal. The billionaire, Orbán says, sought to abolish the nation’s borders and flood the country with Muslim immigrants. The Hungarian media joined in, alleging conspiracies and blaming Soros’ liberal foundation, which promotes democracy, human rights and freedom of speech.
For Orbán, Soros had become simply too influential. With $32 billion (€28 billion), his foundation is worth almost one-quarter of Hungary’s GDP. Moreover, Soros’ goals enrage Orbán. While the other super-rich like Bill Gates fight malaria, cancer or hunger with their foundations, Soros wants to transform society – including Hungary’s.
For the love of democracy, and of money
Yet Soros and his story are not without contradictions. The man who brought the British pound to its knees in 1992 possibly also regards politics and society as capital goods. When he sees the EU “in an existential crisis,” or when he urges the creation of Eurobonds to solve the debt crisis, it’s not quite clear whether he’s speaking as a philanthropist or as a stock-market speculator who’s placed a bet.
From their headquarters in the German capital, Buldioski’s team manages the foundation’s $1 billion annual budget (see graphic below). Among its many causes, aid for projects in Hungary is now coordinated from Berlin, and the payments so far – €3.5 million –are due to be increased.
Buldioski doesn’t mind talking about Soros’ money – he’s used to it and he’s grateful for the funding – but he also wants to point out that he doesn’t work for Soros the man, he doesn’t know any of Soros’ fund managers and that the foundation is much more than its founder.
But now Soros’ opponents are also gathering in Germany. The billionaire’s “charitable” donations are attempts to influence public opinion, says Petr Bystron, foreign policy spokesman for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland, or AfD party. He points to a new German media association, Neue Deutsche Medienmacher, as an example.
The NDM, which advocates more diversity in the media and trains journalists who may be at risk of xenophobic attacks, received €88,000 from the Soros foundation last year and has German government backing. The NDM has described the AfD as “a right-wing radical party” with “ethnic ideology.” Bystron accuses the group of slander, and the federal government of sponsoring that slander with taxpayer money.
Konstantina Vassiliou-Enz, managing director of NDM, dismisses Bystron’s views as fantasy; the Soros foundation isn’t working against the AfD but “for the constitution.” While Soros’ funding is “valuable” to the NDM, Vassiliou-Enz insists “the foundation does not interfere in our work.” Still, she has also noted that animosity towards Soros and his foundation has been on the rise in Germany.
The internet teems with right-wing, anti-Semitic tirades against Soros. “Umvolkung in Europe: Does Merkel work for the Jew Soros?” asks one extremist blog. (Umvolking was originally a Nazi term for the assimilation of Germans so they would forget their language and origin.)
Bystron of the AfD distances himself from such anti-Semitic attacks, insisting he would also criticize Soros if he were a German Christian, a Chinese Buddhist or an American Mormon. “George Soros goes too far with his ideology of open borders,” he says. “Every country needs borders.”
Where do you draw the line?
This is probably the accusation most frequently leveled against Soros: that his foundation is pushing for the abolition of nation-states. Buldioski maintains the organization strives for an “open society” with “borders, law and order,” but in which “nobody holds the monopoly on truth.”
Buldioski now wants to discuss this issue with the AfD, saying a discourse with the party is necessary. “But it is also necessary to identify those who infiltrate democracy and seek to transform it into an authoritarian state,” he adds. “That’s exactly what we experienced in Hungary.”
So some of the foundation’s problems have traveled, like stowaways, from Budapest to Berlin. But Buldioski and his colleagues are unfazed. A city map in the office at Potsdamer Platz has a green marker on the new office’s locations, declaring “we are here”. And that’s more than just a handy directive. It may as well be a statement of intent.
«La società civile, ossia il corpo degli Elettori, da anni nega la propria preferenza ai partiti politici che si basano sulla ideologia liberal patrocinata da Mr Soros.»
Molto si basa sull’equivoco artatamente propalato di considerare ‘società civile‘ uno sparuto manipolo di persone aderenti o stipendiate dalle organizzazioni non governative fondate e dirette da Mr Soros. Codeste ngo perseguono i fini politici dei liberal e quasi invariabilmente contrastano le idee e l’azione del governo liberamente eletto. La parte è assunta come se fosse il tutto.
Questa è una grossolana menzogna, amplificata dai media liberal e socialisti: quattro gatti non sono una nazione.
Non solo: la democrazia non è esercitata nelle piazze, bensì nelle urne elettorali prima, e nel parlamento dopo. È ‘civile‘ solo ed unicamente chi rispetta i risultati elettorali, massimamente quando sia alla opposizione.
Le ngo agiscono come uno stato nello stato, al soldo di denaro straniero.
L’Unione Europea, come pure tutti gli stati membri, traboccano di proposte di fondi dedicati alle ngo. La sola Unione Europea eroga a codeste associazioni quasi 41 miliardi di euro, ai quali se ne devono aggiungere altrettanti erogati dai singoli stati membri. Poi si dovrebbero conteggiare anche i fondi ottenuti dalle organizzazioni internazionali.»
Il grottesco è che il denaro straniero che manipola le ngo è straniero come gestione, mentre nei fatti è sottratto a quanto pagato dal Contribuente Europeo. I liberal e Mr Soros utilizzano il nostro denaro per schiavizzarci.
L’attuale eurodirigenza liberal finanzia così queste organizzazione sovversive volte a rovesciare i governi legittimamente eletti e contrari alla Weltanschauung liberal. Le loro manifestazioni di piazza sono violente né più né meno di quelle a suo tempo inscenate dal partito nazionalsocialista tedesco.
Chiaro che quanto possano si siano ribellati a simili soprusi.
Sotto qualsiasi luna sarebbe sembrato essere giusto e normale che un governo introduca o ripristini il reato di immigrazione illegale.
Il reato non consiste nell’immigrazione in sé, quanto piuttosto nella sua illegalità. Siamo chiari: sarebbe ben strano che un Governo patrocinasse e tollerasse un qualcosa di illegale.
Eppure questo entrerebbe nei desiderata dei liberal, l’illegalità è componente essenziale della loro Weltanschauung.
Mr Orban si è ribellato a tutto ciò, ed ha imposto un adeguato controllo sulle attività delle ngo sul suolo ungherese.
I risultati sono stati ragionevoli, ma molto è ancora da fare.
«An era is quietly coming to an end at number 19 Molnar Street, Budapest. This is where US-Hungarian stock exchange billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) had its European headquarters»
«Now, in the rooms of the inconspicuous office building, files are being packed and computers are being taken offline. The society is moving …. its headquarters to Berlin »
«The OSF move to Berlin is symptomatic of the pressure being exerted on civil society organizations in Hungary and elsewhere in the region»
«At the end of June, Orban had a package of legislative and constitutional amendments passed in parliament, bearing the name “Stop Soros,” which provide a means of criminalizing civil society organizations should they “promote illegal migration.”»
«At the same time, restrictions on asylum law, freedom of assembly and a new branch of the judiciary were introduced»
«Ten days ago, the Hungarian parliament also passed a special immigration tax, a 25-percent penalty tax on all NGO revenues that “promote illegal migration.”»
«Hungarian authorities had been harassing civil society organizations for months over alleged tax offenses»
«Since 2017, non-governmental organizations in Hungary that receive more than €23,000 ($26,600) annually from foreign donors must declare themselves as being “financed from abroad.”»
Hungary is taking action against NGOs, using increasingly stringent laws and dubious methods. In a major shift, Open Society Foundations — backed by George Soros — has decided to move to Berlin. Keno Verseck reports.
An era is quietly coming to an end at number 19 Molnar Street, Budapest. This is where US-Hungarian stock exchange billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) had its European headquarters. Now, in the rooms of the inconspicuous office building, files are being packed and computers are being taken offline. The society is moving. In conversations, employees try to sound matter-of-fact. But everyone is aware that this move marks the beginning of a major shift.
The organization will be moving its headquarters to Berlin on August 31. As the OSF leadership announced in May, the reason for this is the “repressive political and legal climate in Hungary.” This concludes what began here 35 years ago. Soros has had a presence in the Hungarian capital since 1984, first supporting anti-Communist opposition activists and, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, financially supporting civil society activities in the entire Central and Southeastern European region.
“It is important to emphasize that although we will be based in Berlin, we will not be abolishing our support for the region,” says Peter Nizak, who has been a member of the foundation for many years and is head of the OSF Central Eastern Europe Program. “But it’s true that, in fact, a chapter is drawing to a close.”
NGOs allegedly promoting ‘illegal migration’
The OSF move to Berlin is symptomatic of the pressure being exerted on civil society organizations in Hungary and elsewhere in the region. They are one of the last and most important pillars of independent state and power control, and thus pose a considerable obstacle for leaders like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose remodeling of the state has authoritarian features and is accompanied by corruption and a lack of transparency.
At the end of June, Orban had a package of legislative and constitutional amendments passed in parliament, bearing the name “Stop Soros,” which provide a means of criminalizing civil society organizations should they “promote illegal migration.” At the same time, restrictions on asylum law, freedom of assembly and a new branch of the judiciary were introduced. Ten days ago, the Hungarian parliament also passed a special immigration tax, a 25-percent penalty tax on all NGO revenues that “promote illegal migration.”
These are only the latest measures taken against civil society organizations by the Orban government. Four years ago, in July 2014, Orban announced in his now-famous Bad Tusnad speech on the establishment of an illiberal state in Hungary, that he would introduce harsh measures against civil activists.
At the same time, Hungarian authorities had been harassing civil society organizations for months over alleged tax offenses. This culminated in September 2014, with a spectacular police raid against the NGO Okotars and the arrest of its director, Veronika Mora. Since 2017, non-governmental organizations in Hungary that receive more than €23,000 ($26,600) annually from foreign donors must declare themselves as being “financed from abroad.”
Parallel to such legal actions, civil society organizations are also increasingly being put under psychological pressure. Before the parliamentary election in early April, the government newspaper Magyar Idok published alleged investigative reports which claimed that “Soros activists” wanted to provoke subversive unrest in Hungary. After the election, Figyelo, a magazine with close government ties, published a list of 200 “Soros mercenaries,” including the entire staff of several NGOs.
For the last several weeks, activists from the Fidelitas Youth Association of Orban’s ruling party Fidesz have been gathering in front of offices of organizations such as Amnesty International or the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and vandalizing their entrances with red stickers bearing a warning: “This organization supports immigration.”
The Budapest-based organization Menedek (Shelter), which helps recognized refugees with integration in Hungary, was also covered with such stickers in mid-June. Menedek’s director, Andras Kovats, says the Hungarian government consciously creates a “permanent state of conflict and struggle” in the public sphere.
Menedek has felt the effects directly. His association offers pedagogical training courses for kindergartens with foreign children, on the subject of assisting with integration. After an inflammatory article about the course appeared in the government-related portal Pesti Sracok in early June, kindergarten teachers were asking whether they would be prosecuted if they attended. The organization has also faced several cancellations in recent weeks when trying to rent event spaces. Landlords are afraid they’ll be charged with “promoting illegal migration.”
La società civile, ossia il corpo degli Elettori, da anni nega la propria preferenza ai partiti politici che si basano sulla ideologia liberal patrocinata da Mr Soros.
Se però la vittoria elettorale è tappa fondamentale verso il governo, essa è presupposto necessario ma non sufficiente: l’impero di Mr Soros non sarò debellato fino a tanto che le sue creature, le ngo (ogn) non saranno state messe in condizioni di non nuocere ulteriormente.
«Quando Mr Soros ha deciso di conquistare il mondo occidentale ha concepito un piano virtualmente perfetto e davvero geniale. Soros ha fondato una miriade di organizzazioni seguendo uno schema ripetitivo, acutamente penetrante la società nella sua semplicità e mimetismo.
In primo luogo si fonda e finanzia una organizzazione che patrocini un qualcosa di apparentemente degno per ogni persona: “diritti della gioventù”, “protezione dei più deboli”, etc. Dirigenza e personale è nominata da Soros in persona.
In secondo luogo, si scatena un’offensiva mediatica che sensibilizzi l’opinione pubblica al problema e ne evidenzi l’assoluta emergenza in atto.
In terzo luogo, governi amici riconoscono tale organizzazione e, soprattutto, la dotano di fondi.
In quarto luogo, tali governi amici stabiliscono anche che tale organizzazione debba essere obbligatoriamente consultata prima di prendere decisioni in materia.
In quinto luogo, governi amici costituiscono delle agenzie indipendenti dal governo stesso, strutturate attorno all’organizzazione in oggetto, che ne assume de facto la dirigenza. Parte del personale dell’organizzazione transita nei quadri burocratici di queste agenzie, così da averne il governo indipendentemente da chi le dovesse dirigere.
In sesto luogo, governi amici deliberano fondi per la risoluzione di un qualche problema, la gestione dei quali fondi è affidata a codeste agenzie od anche direttamente a quella organizzazione.» [Fonte]
L’Unione Europea, come pure tutti gli stati membri, traboccano di proposte di fondi dedicati alle ngo. La sola Unione Europea eroga a codeste associazioni quasi 41 miliardi di euro, ai quali se ne devono aggiungere altrettanti erogati dai singoli stati membri. Poi si dovrebbero conteggiare anche i fondi ottenuti dalle organizzazioni internazionali.
Un gran bel business pagato con il sangue dei Contribuenti: taluni di essi sono candidi come Biancaneve, ma moltissimi altri sono semplicemente complici, correi.
Adesso dovrebbe essere chiaro il perché i liberal si stiano strappando i capelli dalla testa e quale infernale meccanismo sia stato bloccato, sia pure parzialmente, dall’Italia.
Per dirla in termini politicamente corretti, chi sostenga le ngo o è fesso oppure è in perfetta malafede. Alterum non datur.
* * *
«It is an embattled cause these days. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has reverted to autocracy, and Poland and Hungary are moving in the same direction.»
«With the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, where Soros is a major donor to Democratic candidates and progressive groups, and the growing strength of right-wing populist parties in Western Europe, Soros’s vision of liberal democracy is under threat in its longtime strongholds.»
«Nationalism and tribalism are resurgent, barriers are being raised and borders reinforced and Soros is confronting the possibility that the goal to which he has devoted most of his wealth and the last chapter of his life will end in failure. Not only that: He also finds himself in the unsettling position of being the designated villain of this anti-globalization backlash, his Judaism and career in finance rendering him a made-to-order phantasm for reactionaries worldwide.»
«“I’m standing for principles whether I win or lose,” Soros told me this spring. But, he went on, “unfortunately, I’m losing too much in too many places right now.”»
* * * * * * *
Lasciamo il Lettore alla compitazione di questo mastodontico editoriale del The New York Times, giornale da sempre liberal democratico di specchiatissima fede. Gli articolisti tutto le mattine accendono i ceri degli altarini eretti a Mr Soros, poi si mettono il grembulino a vanno in loggia a prendere gli ordini. Scrivono un politicamente corretto ineccepibile. Poi passano in banca a prelevare l’emolumento.
Il loro punto di vista è della massima importanza per cercare di comprendere i loro moduli mentali.
His enemies paint him as all-powerful, but the billionaire philanthropist believes that his political legacy has never been in greater jeopardy.
On a clammy Tuesday morning in Paris at the end of May, George Soros, the world’s second-most-vilified New York billionaire (but worth many billions more than the other one), addressed the European Council on Foreign Relations, an organization he helped found a decade ago. Described by the woman who introduced him as a “European at heart,” the Hungarian-born Soros, who made his fortune running a hedge fund and is now a full-time philanthropist, political activist and freelance statesman, was there to share his thoughts on salvaging the European Union.
Wearing a dark suit, tieless and with the collar of his blue shirt outside the lapel of his jacket, Soros took the stage with the determined stride of an 87-year-old who still plays tennis a few times a week. But there were some concessions to age. He gave his speech sitting down and used a desk lamp to illuminate the text. (In fairness, the hotel conference room hosting the event was morosely dark.) He turned the pages with his right hand while keeping his left hand on his left knee, as if propping himself up. There were moments when he seemed on the verge of losing his place, although he never did.
In person, Soros is quite charming, with a wry sense of humor. But his writings — he has published 14 books — and speeches can be a little wooden, and this occasion was no exception. He barely acknowledged the audience, which included the president of Serbia and the prime minister of Albania, except to say, “I think this is the right place to discuss how to save Europe.” But apart from urging the European Union to direct more aid to Africa, which he said would ameliorate the refugee crisis that has led to so much of the recent political upheaval in Europe, his remarks were more descriptive than prescriptive. The European Union, he said, faced an “existential crisis.”
Briefly touching on Europe’s economic outlook, he said, “We may be heading for another major financial crisis.” Partly in response to his warning, the Dow fell nearly 400 points that day. Soros is generally considered the greatest speculator Wall Street has known, and though he stopped managing other people’s money years ago, the reaction was a real-time display of his continued ability to move markets. The attention given to that comment also underscored, in a subtle way, an enduring frustration of his life: His financial thoughts still tend to carry more weight than his political reflections.
Yet the political realm is where Soros has made his most audacious wager. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, he poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the former Soviet-bloc countries to promote civil society and liberal democracy. It was a one-man Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe, a private initiative without historical precedent. It was also a gamble that a part of the world that had mostly known tyranny would embrace ideas like government accountability and ethnic tolerance. In London in the 1950s, Soros was a student of the expatriated Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, who championed the notion of an “open society,” in which individual liberty, pluralism and free inquiry prevailed. Popper’s concept became Soros’s cause.
It is an embattled cause these days. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has reverted to autocracy, and Poland and Hungary are moving in the same direction. With the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, where Soros is a major donor to Democratic candidates and progressive groups, and the growing strength of right-wing populist parties in Western Europe, Soros’s vision of liberal democracy is under threat in its longtime strongholds. Nationalism and tribalism are resurgent, barriers are being raised and borders reinforced and Soros is confronting the possibility that the goal to which he has devoted most of his wealth and the last chapter of his life will end in failure. Not only that: He also finds himself in the unsettling position of being the designated villain of this anti-globalization backlash, his Judaism and career in finance rendering him a made-to-order phantasm for reactionaries worldwide. “I’m standing for principles whether I win or lose,” Soros told me this spring. But, he went on, “unfortunately, I’m losing too much in too many places right now.”
The night before his speech in Paris, I had dinner with Soros in his suite at the Bristol Hotel, where he usually stays — and one of the city’s most elegant addresses, conveniently located just up the street from the Elysées Palace (although on this trip Soros had no plans to see France’s president, Emanuel Macron, whom he knows and admires). An aide took me up to the suite and ushered me into the dining room, where Soros was already seated at the table with his wife, Tamiko (Soros has been married three times and has five children — though that is where the similarities to Donald Trump end). It was after 8:30, but he seemed eager for conversation. He spoke slowly, in a still-thick Hungarian accent, moving his cupped hand in a semicircle as if summoning his words. As we talked over a first course of tomato-and-avocado salad, a thunderstorm swept across Paris, rattling the windows. One especially violent thunderclap struck as we were discussing Russia. “That’s Putin,” another aide joked. In 2015, Putin expelled Soros’s philanthropic organization, the Open Society Foundations, from Russia, claiming it was a security threat, and Russian state media churn out a steady flow of anti-Soros content. (At a recent joint press conference with Trump in Helsinki, Putin spoke scornfully of Soros.)
Paris was the first stop for Soros on a monthlong spring trip to Europe. He normally would have visited Budapest, but not this time. Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, a former Soros protégé, was re-elected in April after running a campaign in which he effectively made Soros his opponent. Orban accused Soros, who is an American citizen, of plotting to overwhelm Hungary with Muslim immigrants in order to undermine its Christian heritage. He attacked Soros during campaign rallies, and his government plastered the country with anti-Soros billboards. In the aftermath of the election, the O.S.F. announced that it was closing its Budapest office because of concerns for the safety of its employees. The fate of the Soros-founded Central European University, based in Budapest, was also in doubt.
Soros said he couldn’t visit Hungary under present circumstances: “It would be toxic,” he said. He told me that Orban’s campaign was “a big disappointment,” but quickly added, “I think I must be doing something right to look at who my enemies are.” Last autumn, he signaled that same sense of defiance when he announced that he was in the process of transferring the bulk of his remaining wealth, $18 billion in total at the time, to the O.S.F. That will potentially make it the second-largest philanthropic organization in the United States, in assets, after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is already a sprawling entity, with some 1,800 employees in 35 countries, a global advisory board, eight regional boards and 17 issue-oriented boards. Its annual budget of around $1 billion finances projects in education, public health, independent media, immigration and criminal-justice reform and other areas. Organizations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are among its grantees.
Soros originally planned to close the O.S.F. in 2010. He didn’t want it to outlive him, because he feared it might then lose its dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit. But he changed his mind when he realized that, as he put it, “I had more money than I can realistically or usefully spend in my lifetime.” He also saw that, with liberal values and civil society fragile in so many places, the O.S.F.’s work was becoming ever more essential. “I found a mission, a niche, that I felt could be carried on,” he said as we finished dinner.
A few minutes later came an unexpected reminder of what he and the O.S.F. are up against. A Soros aide and I took the elevator back down together, and when we stepped into the Bristol’s lobby, we found ourselves in the middle of a reception line that stretched the length of the room. It had formed there to greet one of Africa’s longest-serving autocrats, Denis Sassou Nguesso, the president of the Republic of Congo. The next day, a few hours after Soros spoke to the European Council on Foreign Relations, Roseanne Barr went on a Twitter rant that served as a vivid demonstration of what he is up against personally. Soros was maneuvering to bring about “the overthrow of us constitutional republic,” Barr tweeted. She also claimed that Soros, a Holocaust survivor, had actually been a Nazi. Among those who retweeted the Nazi gibe was Donald Trump Jr.
According to Soros, 1944 was the formative year of his life. The Nazis invaded Hungary and immediately began deporting Jews. To save his family, his father, Tivadar Soros, a lawyer, obtained false identities for George, who was then 13, and his older brother, Paul. One day, George was ordered to deliver summonses on behalf of the Jewish Council. Tivadar, recognizing that they were essentially deportation notices, instructed his son to tell the recipients not to heed them. Soon after, Tivadar arranged for Paul to move into a rented room and sent George to live with a Hungarian agricultural official, who passed him off as his Christian godson. The official’s job included taking inventory of a confiscated Jewish-owned property; he took George with him. These episodes have become the basis for the claim that George was a Nazi collaborator. In fact, though, there is no credible evidence that he collaborated with or was sympathetic to the Nazis. George, his brother and his parents all survived the war. Soros says that he came out of the experience with a strong defiant streak, a contempt for tribalism and a propensity to side with the oppressed.
In 1946, as Communists were rising to power in Hungary, Soros fled to England. He earned a degree from the London School of Economics, where Karl Popper was a professor. In 1945, Popper published a political treatise, “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” a fierce assault on totalitarianism, in both its fascist and Marxist forms, and a ringing defense of liberal democracy. Soros left Popper’s classroom with not only the idea that would later animate his philanthropy but also the desire to live a life of the mind. He had to make money first, though. When he moved to New York in 1956 to take a job on Wall Street, his goal, he told me, was to sock away $100,000 in five years, which would allow him to quit finance and turn to scholarly pursuits. But instead, he quipped during our dinner, “I overperformed.”
In 1969, Soros formed what would become the Quantum Fund. It was one of a new breed of investment vehicles known as hedge funds, which catered to institutional investors and wealthy individuals and which used leverage — borrowed money — to make huge bets on stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities. Quantum was wildly successful from its start, delivering 40 percent annual returns. Soros would later attribute his knack for playing the markets to what he called his “theory of reflexivity” — basically, the idea that people’s biases and perceptions can move prices in directions that don’t accord with the underlying reality. Soros claimed his strength as an investor was in recognizing and acting on what he referred to as “far from equilibrium” moments. (His oldest son, Robert, once claimed the “reflexivity” explanation was bunk; he said the tip-off for his father that the market was nearing a major move was when his bad back flared up.)
‘I think I must be doing something right to look at who my enemies are.’
By the late 1970s, Soros had become a very wealthy man. Now he had the means to make himself an agent of history. He was frank about his ambition, though also self-deprecating. As he wrote in his 1991 book, “Underwriting Democracy”: “I was a confirmed egoist but I considered the pursuit of self-interest as too narrow a base for my rather inflated self. If truth be known, I carried some rather potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me into trouble. But when I had made my way in the world I wanted to indulge my fantasies to the extent that I could afford.”
He decided that his goal would be opening closed societies. He created a philanthropic organization, then called the Open Society Fund, in 1979 and began sponsoring college scholarships for black South African students. But he soon turned his attention to Eastern Europe, where he started financing dissident groups. He funneled money to the Solidarity strikers in Poland in 1981 and to Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia. In one especially ingenious move, he sent hundreds of Xerox copiers to Hungary to make it easier for underground publications to disseminate their newsletters. In the late 1980s, he provided dozens of Eastern European students with scholarships to study in the West, with the aim of fostering a generation of liberal democratic leaders. One of those students was Viktor Orban, who studied civil society at Oxford. From his Manhattan trading desk, Soros became a strange sort of expat anticommunist revolutionary.
In the meantime, Quantum grew into a multibillion-dollar colossus. Soros made his most famous trade in 1992, when he bet against the British pound. The currency was vulnerable because it had been pegged at what seemed an unsustainably high rate against the German mark; with Britain in recession, Soros reasoned, the British government would ultimately choose to see the pound devalued rather than maintain the high interest rates needed to defend it from speculative investors. Soros’s terse command to his head trader, Stanley Druckenmiller, was to “go for the jugular.” Druckenmiller did, and on Wednesday, Sept. 16 — Black Wednesday, as it came to be known — the Bank of England stopped trying to prop up the pound’s value. It promptly sank against the mark, falling out of Europe’s Exchange Rate Mechanism and dealing a setback to the push for greater European integration. The sterling crisis turned hedge funds into the glamorous rogues of finance and demonstrated the punitive power that they could wield against policymakers in a world of free-flowing capital. The trade made $1.5 billion for Quantum, and Soros, whom the British tabloids dubbed “the man who broke the Bank of England,” became a household name.
By then, the Soviet empire had collapsed, and Soros was devoting huge sums of his own money to try to smooth its transition from Communist rule. For example, he donated $100 million to support Russian scientists and keep them from selling their services to countries hostile to the West; he spent $250 million on a program to revise Russian textbooks and train teachers to promote critical thinking. While the era was one of Western triumphalism, when it was widely assumed that Russia and other newly freed countries would inevitably embrace liberal democracy — a view most famously expressed in Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 essay, “The End of History” — Soros did not share that certitude. This part of the world had little tradition of civil society and liberal democracy, and in his view these needed to be nurtured if the region was to avoid backsliding into autocracy. “I generally have a bias to see the darkest potential,” he told me. “It is something that I have practiced in the financial markets to very good effect, and I have transferred it to politics.”
During the 1990s, Soros toggled between his day job and his philanthropy, and it was not always easy to disentangle his dual roles. For a time, Quantum and O.S.F. were run out of the same offices. In December 1992, three months after his bet against the British pound, Soros announced a $50 million donation to build a water-treatment facility in war-ravaged Sarajevo, and it was hard not to see that money as having been sucked straight from the British treasury. Soros once described his bifurcated existence rather graphically, writing that he “felt like a giant digestive tract, taking in money at one end and pushing it out at the other.”
If that was the case, indigestion was inevitable, and it came in 1997, when Quantum was at the center of a speculative attack on the Thai baht. The episode was a nearly identical reprise of what happened to the British pound. (Quantum made roughly $750 million this time.) There was one critical difference, however: While Britain was a major industrialized country that ultimately had little trouble absorbing the blow to its currency, Thailand was an emerging economy for which the consequences were devastating. Economic output plunged, banks and businesses folded and huge numbers of people were thrown out of work. The baht crisis rippled into other Asian economies. Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, called Soros and other speculators “unscrupulous profiteers” whose immoral work served no social value. Soros publicly rejected the criticism, but when investors took aim at the Indonesian rupiah in the fall of 1997, Quantum was not among them. Nor did it join other hedge funds when they targeted the Russian ruble the following year. Having already invested hundreds of millions of dollars trying to stabilize Russia, Soros would have been undercutting his own work by betting against the Russian currency. He ended up taking a $400 million loss.
“That was where the crossroads between the philanthropist and the investor became difficult,” says Rob Johnson, a longtime Soros associate who worked as a portfolio manager at Quantum in the 1990s. But by then, according to Johnson, the only reason that Soros was still running a hedge fund was to generate more money for his causes.
In a speech to students and faculty at Moldova University in 1994, Soros described in strikingly personal terms why he became a political philanthropist. His objective, he said, was to make Hungary “a country from which I wouldn’t want to emigrate.” To that end, he showered Hungary with money and resources in the years after the Berlin Wall fell. In the early 1990s, the O.S.F. gave $5 million to a program that offered free breakfasts to Hungarian schoolchildren. It spent millions to modernize Hungary’s health care system. In all, Soros has funded around $400 million worth of projects in Hungary since 1989 — and that figure doesn’t include the initial $250 million that he gave to endow Central European University, which opened in Prague in 1991, moved to Budapest two years later and has since graduated more than 14,000 students drawn from across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Soros also cultivated a number of young activists he believed could advance his dream of remaking Hungary as a place he would never again feel compelled to leave. Among them was Viktor Orban, a bright, charismatic student who was ardently pro-democracy, or so it seemed. In addition to providing Orban with a scholarship at Oxford, Soros donated money to Fidesz (the Alliance of Young Democrats), a student organization that Orban helped found and that evolved into his political party.
ut during the 1990s, Orban drifted to the right. Elected prime minister in 1998, he governed as a mainstream conservative, emphasizing patriotism and traditional values. Outwardly, he remained pro-Western. Under his leadership, Hungary entered NATO, and he also laid the groundwork for its admission to the European Union. But a shock defeat in the 2002 election seemed to radicalize Orban. When he reclaimed the prime minister’s office in 2009, he began ruthlessly consolidating power. He packed the courts with Fidesz loyalists, and various independent media were bought out by Orban supporters. At the same time, he turned away from the West and drew close to Vladimir Putin. Orban was re-elected in 2014. The following year, the European refugee crisis hit. Tens of thousands of refugees passed through the Balkans and arrived on Hungary’s border. Orban’s government erected a 109-mile fence in order to keep them out, and it later refused to comply with a European Union quota plan that would have required it to take in asylum-seekers.
Groups that received financial support from the O.S.F. were providing assistance to the refugees massed along Hungary’s border, and this became a pretext for Orban’s war on Soros. The Hungarian Parliament enacted legislation requiring NGOs to register with the government and disclose foreign sources of income above a certain threshold; it passed a bill that would have stripped Central European University of the right to award diplomas in Hungary. Orban’s government introduced what it called the “Stop Soros” bill making it a crime to assist illegal immigrants. (Parliament passed the bill last month.)
In one campaign rally in Budapest, Orban referred to Soros as “Uncle George,” telling tens of thousands of supporters that “we are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world.” Along with the fiery speeches, there were the billboards, which featured a picture of a smiling Soros and the message, “Let’s not let George Soros have the last laugh.” The laughing Jew had been a trope of Nazi propaganda, but Orban denied that the billboards were anti-Semitic.
Orban’s coalition won 49 percent of the vote, enough to give it a supermajority in Parliament. But the anti-Soros campaign didn’t end with the election. Days after the vote, a magazine owned by a pro-Orban businesswoman published the names of more than 200 people in Hungary that it claimed were Soros “mercenaries.” The list included representatives of human rights groups, anticorruption watchdogs and Central European University faculty members and administrators. In mid-May, the O.S.F. announced that it was closing its Budapest office, which was responsible for almost half its international grants. Patrick Gaspard, the O.S.F.’s president, says that the language and imagery Orban used to go after Soros was “nothing short of violent” and that the Hungarian prime minister’s threat to turn the country’s intelligence services on the O.S.F. made it impossible to remain in Budapest. “I have the habit of taking autocrats at their word,” Gaspard says. “We have to protect the security of our staff and of our data.” The office is relocating to Berlin.
In recent years, governments throughout Eastern Europe have attacked Soros. But why Orban, personally popular and facing hopelessly divided opponents, chose to make Soros-bashing the centerpiece of his campaign puzzled many observers. Orban “is extremely successful,” Michael Ignatieff, the president of Central European University and the former leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, told me in London in April. “He’s a much better politician than any of his opposition. He has intelligence and charm. He’s funny and reads a room well. What’s crazy is that he feels he needs to delegitimize Soros in order to win an election.” Some observers offered a psychological explanation: Noting that Orban had had a turbulent relationship with his own father and a tendency to chafe under authority, they suggested that bludgeoning Soros was a form of patricide, a way of slaying his political godfather. But Thomas Carothers, a senior vice president at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes that Soros was simply a useful cudgel for Orban. Civic groups were the last source of potential opposition, he says, and because some of them were backed by the O.S.F., going after Soros was a way to undermine their credibility. “Strongman leaders want to de-universalize human rights and civic liberties,” says Carothers, who has served on various O.S.F. advisory boards. “It is much harder for Orban to say that he rejects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is much easier to say, ‘I push back against this intrusive man sitting in New York.’ Soros is a very convenient bogeyman.”
‘I’m opposed to the extreme left. It should stop trying to keep up with the extremists on the right.’
Given that Orban ran and won on a xenophobic platform, it seems fair to wonder if Soros’s work in Hungary — and in much of Eastern Europe — was doomed from the start. With Putinism and Orbanism on the rise and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, there is renewed debate about the import of the events of 1989 and whether Russians, Poles and Hungarians really intended to embrace the full menu of Western liberal values. Francis Fukuyama is among those who have doubts today. “There’s now a lot of evidence that a lot of that turn toward liberal democracy in the early days, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, really was driven by a kind of educated, very pro-Western elite,” he told me recently. But less-educated people who lived outside large urban areas “didn’t really buy into liberalism, this idea that you could actually have a multiracial, multiethnic society where all these traditional communal values would have to give way to gay marriage and immigrants and all this stuff. That they definitely did not buy into.”
But Fukuyama went on to say that it takes events and skillful manipulators to rouse the forces of intolerance. In Hungary, the global financial crisis and the refugee crisis were the fuses, and Orban proved very adept at providing the spark. Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O.S.F., made a similar observation. He said resentment of the European Union, which came to be seen as an “emasculating force of Hungarian identity,” as he put it, coupled with economic anxiety, left Hungarians receptive to Orban’s appeal. “Hungarians are not irredeemably racist,” Benardo said. “Ethnic entrepreneurs like Orban play upon the darkest fears of people to produce political support and an us-versus-them mentality.”
In contrast to Benardo, my grandfather was not a social scientist. But like Soros, he was a Hungarian-born Jew who ended up in the United States, and he believed that anti-Semitism was a habit of mind that Hungarians would never kick. He admired Soros, but thought he was wasting his money in Hungary. When I told Soros about my grandfather, he smiled and shook his head knowingly. He said that his brother, a shipping magnate, had felt the same way. Soros did not.
“I don’t blame the Hungarian people at all,” he said. “In fact, I admire them for their willingness to stand up to oppression and to fight for their freedom.” He added: “We have to distinguish between the people and the government.”
He then told me a story from 1944, about a Nazi officer his father met in a cafe. During the course of the conversation, the officer quietly admitted to misgivings about the orders he was obliged to carry out. His father, a Jew in hiding and virulently opposed to the Nazis, tried to comfort the officer, telling him that it was a difficult situation. Throughout his life, the elder Soros shared this story to make the point that circumstances matter and that how people act isn’t necessarily how they feel, a lesson that his son was now applying to Orban’s Hungary. I asked him if he expected to visit Hungary again in his lifetime. “I hope so,” he said, but without much conviction.
Two weeks later, President Trump called Orban to congratulate him on his re-election.
Soros became a major political donor in the United States during George W. Bush’s presidency. Angered by what he saw as an effort by the Bush administration to use the war on terror to stoke fear and stifle dissent, he began donating vast sums to Democratic candidates and progressive causes. He helped fund the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, as well as MoveOn.org, and spent more than $20 million backing John Kerry’s unsuccessful bid to deny Bush a second term. In addition to being a generous donor, he was an outspoken one. He accused the Bush administration of employing Nazi propaganda techniques, and later said that the United States would need to undergo “a certain de-Nazification process” after Bush left office.
Soros was an early backer of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. In Paris, Soros told me that Obama was “actually my greatest disappointment.” Prompted by an aide, he immediately qualified himself, saying that he hadn’t been disappointed by Obama’s presidency but felt let down on a professional level. While he had no desire for a formal role in the administration, he had hoped that Obama would seek his counsel, especially on financial and economic matters. Instead, he was frozen out.
After Obama was elected, “he closed the door on me,” Soros said. “He made one phone call thanking me for my support, which was meant to last for five minutes, and I engaged him, and he had to spend another three minutes with me, so I dragged it out to eight minutes.” He suggested that he had fallen victim to an Obama personality trait. “He was someone who was known from the time when he was competing for the editorship of The Harvard Law Review to take his supporters for granted and to woo his opponents,” Soros said.
During the 2016 election cycle, Soros contributed more than $25 million to Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates and causes. While he had foreseen the possibility of a Trump-like figure emerging (“The American public has proven remarkably susceptible to the manipulation of truth, which increasingly dominates the country’s political discourse,” he wrote in The Guardian in 2007), he was as surprised as everyone else that the Trump-like figure turned out to be Donald Trump. Soros told me that he had known Trump casually and had even socialized with him (about 30 years ago, a friend of Soros’s dated one of Trump’s senior people, and they all went out for dinner a few times). “I had no idea he had any political ambition,” Soros said. Trump had tried to coax him into becoming the lead tenant in one of his commercial buildings, he said. “I told him I couldn’t afford it,” Soros recalled with a chuckle.
He said that he had been “very afraid” that Trump would “blow up the world rather than suffer a setback to his narcissism” but was pleased that the president’s ego had instead led him to reach out to North Korea. “I think the danger of nuclear war has been greatly reduced, and that’s a big relief.” In his annual state-of-the-world speech in Davos this year, Soros said Trump “would like to establish a mafia state, but he can’t, because the Constitution, other institutions and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it.” He also characterized Trump as a “purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020, or even sooner,” and predicted a Democratic landslide in the 2018 midterm elections. Five months on, he was sticking by those predictions. “For every Trump follower who follows Trump through thick and thin, there is more than one Trump enemy who will be more intent, more determined,” Soros told me. He is doing his part to shorten the Trump era: In advance of the midterm elections, Soros has so far contributed at least $15 million to support Democratic candidates and causes.
Asked if he would support Bernie Sanders if the Vermont senator won the Democratic nomination in 2020, Soros said it was too soon to say. He expressed displeasure with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, another possible candidate, over her role in ousting Al Franken from Congress: “She was using #MeToo to promote herself.” He said his main goal as a political activist was to see a return to bipartisanship, a surprising claim in light of his lavish support for the Democrats. It was the extremism of the Republican Party that had prompted him to become a major Democratic donor, he said; he wanted the Republican Party to reform itself into a more moderate party. He said he was not especially partisan himself: “I don’t particularly want to be a Democrat.” He spoke of his respect for John McCain. He even said he would be inclined to give financial support to moderate Republicans like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, although he quickly walked back that comment: “I shouldn’t say that. That would hurt them.” And while the Republicans had made bipartisanship impossible, he didn’t want to see the Democrats become more ideologically rigid and confrontational.
If Soros views his relationship with the Democratic Party as mostly transactional, for some Democrats the feeling appears to be mutual. While his money is welcome and needed, there seems to be a certain ambivalence about Soros within Democratic circles. It is partly because of his outspokenness. As Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a longtime Democratic strategist, puts it, “The best donors are silent donors; not talking is good.” A bigger issue is that the Democratic Party remains committed to campaign-finance reform and abhors the effect that the Citizens United decision has had on American politics. That 2010 Supreme Court ruling gave billionaires like Soros the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Kamarck says that in the post-Citizens United world, Democrats “can’t unilaterally disarm” and spurn donations from plutocrats like Soros, but they are conflicted about billionaire donors in a way that the Republicans are not.
Although Soros is squarely on the left on many issues — he supports a single-payer health care system and is a longtime advocate of criminal-justice reform — some on the left have long been dubious of him. In the 1990s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda (mass privatization, for example) on Eastern Europe. For some critics, Soros’s Wall Street background has always been a mark against him. There is also discomfort with his philanthropy — not its goals, certainly, but what it is seen to represent. Soros is at the vanguard of what has come to be known as “philanthrocapitalism,” essentially large-scale social investing by billionaires like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Soros. (Last year Forbes magazine ranked Soros the 20th-richest American.) To those who object, this represents the privatization of social policy and, through the substantial tax benefits that charitable donations receive, it deprives the public sector of money that could be used to promote social welfare.
When I asked Soros to describe himself ideologically, he laughed. “My ideology is nonideological,” he said. “I’m in the club of nonclubs.” When I suggested that “center-left” might characterize his views, he demurred; he said it wasn’t clear where he stood now because the left had moved further left, a development that did not please him. “I’m opposed to the extreme left,” he said. “It should stop trying to keep up with the extremists on the right.”
One morning in Paris, I had coffee with Alex Soros, who is 32 and the second-youngest of George’s five children. Bespectacled, wiry and careful with his words, he had recently earned a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and was now running his own philanthropy while also working with the O.S.F. He was a little groggy, having been up late the night before writing an op-ed for The Daily News rebutting Roseanne Barr’s Nazi tweet. (His father’s lawyers also filed a cease-and-desist order against Barr; she issued an apology two weeks later.) When the caffeine finally kicked in, Alex told me that for many years, his father had not been eager to advertise his Judaism because “this was something he was almost killed for.” But he had always “identified firstly as a Jew,” and his philanthropy was ultimately an expression of his Jewish identity, in that he felt a solidarity with other minority groups and also because he recognized that a Jew could only truly be safe in a world in which all minorities were protected. Explaining his father’s motives, he said, “The reason you fight for an open society is because that’s the only society that you can live in, as a Jew — unless you become a nationalist and only fight for your own rights in your own state.”
But Soros’s Jewish identity, coupled with his status as a Wall Street billionaire, gave those disinclined to support his agenda an easy means to foment suspicion and resentment, and from the moment that he became involved in Eastern Europe, he was confronted with anti-Semitism. The dog-whistling has not abated with time; some would argue that anti-Semitism directed at Soros has become, at least under Orban, a state-sponsored contagion. But it has also lately taken some bizarre twists. Last year, a son of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, posted an anti-Semitic cartoon of Soros on his Facebook page. (Netanyahu has frequently disparaged Soros because of his financial support for groups critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.) And, of course, Soros is also routinely accused of having been a Nazi.
Anti-Soros sentiment is a more recent phenomenon in the United States. Soros became a focal point of right-wing vitriol when he started contributing to the Democrats. In an appearance on Fox News in 2004, Dennis Hastert, who was at the time the speaker of the House, suggested that Soros was involved with drug cartels, telling Chris Wallace that “I don’t know where George Soros gets his money. I don’t know where — if it comes overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from.” The effort to demonize Soros has been unrelenting and quite successful. In suggesting that Soros was plotting a coup against the American government, Roseanne Barr was repeating a claim made by, among others, Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who had posted a meme on her Facebook page suggesting that Soros was conspiring to topple President Trump and “our constitutional republic.”
Soros is regularly portrayed as the deus ex machina of American politics, a vast left-wing conspiracy unto himself. His wily hand — and wallet — have been blamed for the national-anthem protests in the N.F.L.; the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.; and the violence in Charlottesville. On Twitter, Soros haters trace virtually every national trauma, as well as every setback for conservatives, to him, or anything with the flimsiest connection to him. This stuff isn’t confined to the digital fringes either. The claim about Charlottesville, for instance, was leveled by Paul Gosar, a Republican member of Congress. After news broke of a sex scandal involving the former governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens, that state’s Republican Party issued a statement claiming that he had fallen victim to a “political hit job” orchestrated by Soros.
At this point, it is fair to say that “Soros” has eclipsed even “Hillary” as a trigger for a certain large subset of Republicans and conservatives. In April, conservative media outlets reported that Kimba Wood, the judge presiding over the case of President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, had officiated at Soros’s third wedding, in 2013. None of them attempted to explain why this was a problem; it was apparently self-evident. In 2014, Mark Malloch-Brown, a former United Nations deputy secretary general and a longtime Soros protégé, became head of a company called Smartmatic, which specializes in electronic voting technology. Soros obsessives eventually seized on this as proof that he was now intent on manipulating election outcomes. In response, the company felt obliged to post a disclaimer on its website stating that Soros had no stake in Smartmatic and that its technology was not used during the 2016 United States presidential election. When I spoke with Malloch-Brown, he told me that this was the price of being associated in any way with Soros. “It’s a badge I wear with honor,” he said, “but it attaches to everything I do.”
Much of what is said about Soros on Facebook, Twitter and in right-wing media outlets is not overtly anti-Semitic, and it is possible that some of the people pushing these views are not even aware that he is Jewish. But the echoes are there. Glenn Beck used his show on Fox to peddle wild conspiracy theories about Soros. In 2010, he aired a multipart special called “George Soros: The Puppet Master,” which was widely condemned for its anti-Semitic overtones, beginning with its title (the Jew as puppet master, pulling the strings of humanity, is another age-old anti-Semitic trope). In recent years, the so-called alt-right has become a key driver of Soros paranoia. Breitbart portrays him as an arch-“globalist” who backs unrestricted immigration and a border-free world. (Neither claim is true.) Soros was one of the prominent Jews featured in the last ad of Trump’s 2016 campaign, which many regarded as anti-Semitic. Steve Bannon, formerly the head of Breitbart, led Trump’s campaign at the time. On a trip to Europe in March, Bannon lauded Viktor Orban as a “hero” and “the most significant guy on the scene today.”
Although the broadsides at Soros are often highly suggestive, the people behind them are usually careful to maintain a degree of deniability when it comes to the question of anti-Semitism. But not always. On his radio show last year, Alex Jones, who runs the conspiracy website Infowars, told listeners, “there is undoubtedly a Jewish mafia” and that it was headed by Soros. Offering the same twist that would later appear in Roseanne Barr’s tweet, Jones said that “one of the biggest enemies of Jews was the Jewish mafia” and that Soros was “out to get Jews.”
At this point, ‘Soros’ has eclipsed even ‘Hillary’ as a trigger for a large subset of Republicans and conservatives.
Britain’s vote in 2016 to leave the E.U. was a personal blow to Soros, an Anglophile but also a staunch supporter of European integration. Afterward, he donated more than $500,000 to a group called Best for Britain, led by Malloch-Brown, that plans to push for a second referendum to undo Brexit. In a tart response, Norman Lamont, who was chancellor of the Exchequer during the 1992 pound-devaluation crisis and, as such, the person on the losing end of Soros’s most celebrated trade, told a reporter, “George Soros is a brilliant financier, but he should stick to finance and stay out of British politics.”
In April, I met with Lamont. Now a member of the House of Lords and an ardent Brexit supporter, he insisted that he bore no ill will toward Soros because of Black Wednesday. But he regarded Brexit as a domestic political matter in which foreign money should play no part. That Soros had a home and office in London was irrelevant. “He can’t vote here,” Lamont said. In his view, Soros’s effort to get a do-over vote was undermining British democracy. “I think there would be incredible disillusionment with the political process if this vote was annulled,” he said.
During my dinner with Soros, I pointed out that some political observers drew a straight line from Black Wednesday to Brexit, in that the 1992 crisis strengthened the position of the Euroskeptics in Britain’s Conservative Party, the faction that ultimately pushed for and prevailed on the vote to leave the European Union. I asked Soros what he would say to a Brexit supporter puzzled by his seemingly contradictory roles in Black Wednesday and Brexit. His reply suggested he thought the answer was obvious. “This is the difference between my engagement in the markets, where my only interest is to get it right and make money, and my political engagement, where I stand for what I really believe in,” he said.
It is a comment that gets to the heart of the Soros conundrum. Even if you concede that policymakers are ultimately to blame for the income inequality that has fueled so much of the current backlash against globalization, the financial sector has had a major role in worsening it, and hedge-fund titans like Soros are powerful symbols of that inequality. And while Soros has written very candidly and persuasively about the pitfalls of casino capitalism — most notably in a 1997 Atlantic essay, subsequently expanded into a book called “The Crisis of Global Capitalism,” in which he acknowledged the destabilizing effect of financial markets — that doesn’t make him any less of a symbol. When pressed, Soros has said that if he hadn’t gone after the British pound or the Thai baht, someone else would have. That is unquestionably true (and in fact, Quantum was not the only hedge fund targeting those currencies). But that is not a particularly satisfying answer, and certainly not after the Great Recession, in which investment banks and hedge funds played such a destructive role. The industry that made him a billionaire contributed significantly to the circumstances that now imperil what Soros the philanthropist has tried to achieve.
On the other hand, if Soros’s riches had gone to someone else, would that person have put the money to the same use? It might have gone to a noble cause, but almost certainly not to something as ambitious and quixotic — or as dangerous — as the promotion of liberal values and democracy. (As Putin and Orban have shown, independent civil society is inevitably regarded as oppositional by governments that don’t want their powers checked.) Most plutocrats measure progress in numbers, but the kind of work that Soros, through the O.S.F., has done generally defies quantification. And as Leonard Benardo, the vice president of the O.S.F., noted when we spoke a few months ago, that work can be unpopular in the countries where it is done.
Soros’s efforts on behalf of one group in particular, the Roma, seem especially germane right now. In June, the new Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, the head of the far-right League party, commissioned a census of the country’s Roma. As an “answer to the Roma question,” as he menacingly phrased it, Salvini vowed to expel all non-Italian Roma and added, “Unfortunately, we will have to keep the Italian Roma.” Even in the age of Trump, his words were shocking, but he has refused to disavow them or back down. Improving the status of Europe’s estimated 10 to 12 million Roma has been a major priority for Soros and the O.S.F. since the early 1990s. The organization has contributed more than $300 million to projects combating discrimination against the Roma and providing them with greater education, employment and civic opportunities. It is a struggle because anti-Roma sentiment remains a potent force, a reality underscored by Salvini’s actions and statements. Given the political currents in Europe, this is another battle that Soros may well be losing. Salvini’s popularity has soared.
But it is also a clarifying battle. Setting aside all of the complications that come with being George Soros, would you rather live in the world that he has tried to create, or in the world that Salvini and Orban (and, for that matter, Trump) seem to be pushing us toward? In the aftermath of the Great Recession, it can certainly be argued that how Soros earned his money, and the fact that he accumulated such wealth, ought to carry more moral opprobrium in 2018 than maybe it did in 2008. But there is also a case to be made that in the present moment, with its echoes of the 1930s, how he amassed his fortune matters a lot less than what he has chosen to do with it.
There have been mistakes; by his own admission, Soros erred in championing Mikheil Saakashvili, the mercurial former president of Georgia, and also became too directly involved in the country’s politics in the early 2000s. He clearly misjudged Orban. But as Victoria Nuland, a former American diplomat who worked for both Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton, put it when I spoke to her recently, “George is a freedom fighter.”
On the morning of July 5, I visited Soros at his home in the Hamptons. He had returned from Europe the week before and was spending the rest of the summer at El Mirador, as his Mediterranean-style villa is known. For years, Soros has used the 10-bedroom, 15,000-square-foot complex as a salon of sorts, entertaining a revolving cast of writers, academics and political activists. Back in the day, Soros could often be found playing chess outside with dissidents from Eastern Europe.
A household employee showed me to a table in the dining room and offered me some ginger tea: “a specialty of the house.” A few minutes later, Soros walked in. He was dressed in a white linen shirt, dark trousers and sandals. He hadn’t been on the tennis court that morning; he was busy with phone calls instead.
In the five weeks since I had seen Soros in Paris, the Trump administration had slapped new trade sanctions on China and imposed tariffs on goods from Canada and the European Union. I asked why the markets and the broader economy were holding up so well in the face of a possible global trade war, the breakdown of the trans-Atlantic alliance and the political turmoil in Washington. Soros said these developments would eventually drag down the market, but he couldn’t say when. “I’ve lost my capacity to anticipate the markets,” he said, adding with a smile, “I’m an amateur now.” It was like hearing Roger Federer saying he had lost his touch around the net. Soros claimed that because the financial world was no longer his main focus, he was unable to time the markets the way that he used to. Politics now commanded his attention.
Soros was in a reflective mood. He said democracy was in trouble because in many countries it had become sclerotic, insufficiently responsive to the public’s needs. “It’s losing out,” he said. Illiberal democracy, of the sort that Orban had fashioned in Hungary, was proving to be “more effective,” for the time being at least. The new-age autocrats had shown themselves to be particularly cunning in going after civil society as a means of consolidating their power. “It’s a less abrasive way of exercising control than actually killing people who disagree with you,” he said.
It had become clear to him that his mentor and inspiration, Karl Popper, had been wrong in one critical respect. In a democratic society, politics wasn’t ultimately a quest to arrive at the truth; it was about gaining and holding power and manipulating public sentiment in order to do that. “He was a philosopher of science, and science is a search for reality,” Soros said. “He did not understand politics. In politics, you are spinning the truth, not discovering it.” I asked what Popper, who died in 1994, had thought of his political philanthropy. “He was very supportive, which means he didn’t take me seriously,” Soros said, laughing. “I don’t think Popper would be so happy with my current position, because I’m critical of him.”
Soros acknowledged that he had said things in the past that he now regretted — not necessarily the sentiments, but the way he had expressed them. Referring to the Nazi comments that he made during the Bush years, he said, “That was probably a mistake.” He told me that he was now choosing his words more cautiously, eschewing comparisons to the Third Reich and the use of the word “fascism” to describe political conditions in the United States and Europe.
In Paris, Alex Soros had told me that his father, while an excellent parent, had been emotionally distant. It was, he said, a defense mechanism born of his wartime experience: “To be emotional, to give off emotion, could be a sign of vulnerability.” But he said his father had started to open up in recent years.
As my conversation with Soros in Southampton drew to a close, I thought I picked up a little vulnerability. He was talking about his wealth and the opportunities it had given him. “For me, money represents freedom and not power,” he said. For a long time, money had given him the freedom to do and say what he pleased, and also the freedom not to care what other people said and thought about him. But he conceded that he had started to care. “I have become a bit more concerned about my image, because it is disturbing to have those lies out there,” he said, citing Roseanne Barr’s tweet as an example. He also admitted that being the anointed villain for so many people around the world was unpleasant. “I’m not happy to have that many enemies,” he said. “I wish I had more friends.”
Dimmi chi ti finanzia e ti scrivo il programma elettorale.
Dimmi chi ti finanzia e ti passo la velina delle leggi da fare approvare.
Mente, parole e comportamenti di un uomo politico sono la mente, le idee, le parole ed i comportamenti di chi lo finanzia.
Se sicuramente sono esistiti, e tuttora esistono, uomini politici incorrotti ed incorruttibili, la stragrande maggioranza di essi ha un padrone che pretende da loro che essi tutelino i suoi interessi vendendoli al pubblico come sublimi ideali per il bene della Patria.
«C’est l’homme providentiel, le « superdoué » sorti de nulle part, inconnu il y a deux ans et qui a réussi à fonder un parti « En Marche » et à devenir, probablement, le futur président de la République Française… voilà ce qu’on entend dans tous les médias (Télévision, Presse, Magazine people, etc.)
Bien entendu tout cela est faux, c’est du pipeau !
Emmanuel Macron a été programmé et mis sur orbite par une caste parfaitement organisée et dans l’unique but de la servir loyalement, comme nous le constateront, hélas, à nos dépens !
Inutile de rappeler tous ceux qui le soutiennent depuis son entrée en politique auprès de François Hollande, ils font partie de son carnet d’adresses à l’époque de la Banque Rothschild. ….
Patrick Drahi (le troisième milliardaire français, SFR-Numéricable, L’Express, Libération, BFM-TV, BFM-Business et RMC)) et Pierre Bergé (Milliardaire et copropriétaire de L’Observateur et Le Monde) mais aussi Claude Bébéar (AXA et Institut Montaigne – le siège de départ d’En Marche était à l’adresse de l’Institut dirigé par Laurent Bigorgne), Bernard Arnault (LVMH, Le Parisien, Les Échos), Alexandre Bompard (Darty-FNAC), Marc Simoncini (Meetic), Vincent Bolloré (Vivendi), Henri de Castries (ex-PDG d’AXA), Pierre Danon (ex.PDG de Numéricable), Henry Hermand (Terra Nova-PS), Xavier Niel (Free, L’Observateur, Le Monde, La Vie Catholique, Télérama), sans oublier Pierre Gattaz, patron du MEDEF et, à un degré inférieur, Mourad Boudjellal (BD Soleil et président du Toulon-Rugby-Club), Jacques Attali, Alain Minc, Mohamed Saou (proche de l’UOIF) Bariza Khiari (Institut des Cultures de l’Islam) et des dizaines d’autres. ….
Cela, c’est la face visible de l’iceberg, mais la face cachée qu’elle est-elle ?
N’est-il pas question en coulisses de ce nom cité à voix basse : Georges Soros ? Je préfère ne pas y croire !
Qui est Georges Soros ?
Fondateur du « Soros Fund Management », il est surnommé « L’homme qui a fait sauter la banque d’Angleterre ».
Il fut à l’origine du mercredi noir, le 16 septembre 1992 : spéculant massivement sur la baisse de la «Livre sterling », il a obligé la monnaie britannique à sortir du système monétaire. Soros a gagné un milliard en une seule nuit.
Une information du Wall Street Journal, nous apprenait que Soros avait invité discrètement à dîner dans un restaurant New-Yorkais renommé, début 2010, les « hedge funds » les plus puissants de la planète : Paulson et Co, Pimco, Soros Fund Management, SAC capital Advisors.
Georges Soros a la puissance d’un dieu. Il peut acculer un pays ou une banque nationale à la faillite. Il a parié des milliards sur l’effondrement de l’Euro.
«Hildegard von Hessen am Rhein a écrit : « Macron, un homme de Soros ? »
«Des associations financées par Soros ont fait descendre dans la rue deux millions de manifestants (pro-LGBT) contre Trump, sur presque 330 millions d’habitants, « sous couvert de féminisme« . Le logo d’une de ces (ONG activistes et gauchistes) financées par Soros s’intitule « Move On, en français : En marche !»
Move On ! En marche ! « Macron pourrait être un homme de Soros, qui finance l’Open Society » et aussi la mondialisation heureuse et l’immigrationnisme à marche forcée contre les peuples européens. Alors, comment intervient Soros ? Pour cela, il faut pouvoir prouver les liens entre « Move On ! et En marche !»
«Macron est soutenu par Minc, Attali, grands adeptes l’un et l’autre du Nouvel Ordre Mondial. »»
«la fondation de George Soros, Open Society Foundations (OSF), via le Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) qui lui est rattaché, investit dans des sociétés ou soutient des programmes dans des secteurs ciblés, comme notamment le secteur agricole, contribuant au développement des biocarburants et des OGM. En outre, on observe que les réseaux Soros (fondations, ONG, media, relais institutionnels, conseillers et experts partenaires…) interviennent et militent pour modifier le cadre réglementaire et législatif dans certains pays dans des secteurs aussi variés que l’agriculture, les secteurs minier et énergétique ou les télécommunications»
«Pubblicato il contenuto di Macronleaks, una montagna di documenti archiviata nelle caselle di posta elettronica dello staff di Emmanuel Macron e che l’elettorato francese aveva il diritto di conoscere prima della consultazione per le presidenziali.
La stampa d’oltralpe e in particolare Le Monde ha rilasciato un comunicato stampa nel quale afferma espressamente di non aver voluto rivelare il contenuto dei file, per i timori di “influenzare il ballottaggio”: alla faccia del “cane da guardia della democrazia”, interessi oligarchici anteposti a quelli del popolo.
Al solito certi mezzucci hanno le gambe corte e i file sono stati in qualche modo recuperati da altri organi d’informazione e resi pubblici.
Spicca un prestito di otto milioni in favore dell’AFCPEM, l’associazione del candidato di En Marche! per il finanziamento della sua campagna elettorale.
Il finanziamento è stato erogato da Credit Agricole.
Questi soldi dovranno essere restituiti entro il marzo 2019 ed è curioso l’articolo 1415 del contratto: in caso di inadempienza il patrimonio personale di Brigitte, la moglie di Macron, non verrà intaccato.
E’doveroso sottolineare che nessuna banca francese si è detta disposta a finanziare la campagna elettorale di Marine Le Pen, mentre il neo-eletto presidente della Repubblica francese non ha incontrato alcuna difficoltà in tal senso.
E’ il Boston Consulting Group uno dei gruppi che ha manifestato maggior sostegno nei confronti di Emmanuel Macron, viene indicato dal presidente di AFCPEM, Christian Dargnat in una e mail come “ uno dei maggiori sostenitori” e desidera metterlo al corrente “dell’evoluzione del movimento e per scambiare pareri sulle prospettive delle sue azioni”.
Grande è l’interesse del BCG all’attività di Macron, infatti in direttore marketing del gruppo contatta Stephane Charbit, direttore della banca Rothschild a Parigi, per chiedergli di “essere messo in contatto con la persona per organizzare un incontro”.
La presenza del colosso bancario Rothschild è una costante nella campagna elettorale di En Marche, partecipando attivamente a diversi meeting organizzati dallo staff di Emmanuel Macron.
In attesa delle puntate successive un po’ di nomi e cifre intorno a Emmanuel Macron: George Soros: 2.365.910,16 €, David Rothschild: 976.126,87 €, Goldman-Sachs: 2.145.100 €.
«When Emmanuel Macron told friends in 2008 he was joining Rothschild, the prestigious investment bank, the then 30-year-old civil servant was warned it could scupper a future career in politics. “You’re conscious that banking is not any kind of job? And Rothschild not any kind of bank?” said one friend to the man who, nine years later, would become frontrunner in France’s presidential election. ….
The issue for Macron is that he is the symbol of the French oligarchic elite, which is difficult to reconcile with his promise of renewal and political disruption ….»
«Before the horrified gaze of its militants, the French Socialist party — which has been a major force in French politics since 1981, and forms the present government — is falling to pieces. ….
As a presidential candidate, Macron is seen as an outsider, someone who will ‘break the system’ and challenge the stifling consensus of unions, over-entitled functionaries and remarkably youthful pensioners that prevents France from responding to the challenges of globalisation. He usually describes himself as ‘centrist’ but he also objects to being called ‘anti-socialist’. ….
Macron has not just divided the Socialists, he has replaced them. So how has this apparently isolated and underfunded individual managed all this in such a short time? ….»
«Accused gay, married a woman 24 years older ‘Macron 15 Brigette 38 with 3 children’ and Rothschild. ….
It is Jacques Attali who created the link between the financial capital and the elite of the ruling Socialist Party, which he supports ….
At that time he met for the first time Matthew Pigasse, director of the French branch of the Lazard Brothers bank, who wanted to make the same purchase for his client, Danone, but failed. So Macron found his greatest enemy in the face of Matthew Pigasse.»
«Macron, the globalist candidate of Soros and the oligarchs, proceeded to the next round as the establishment representative. He now will face off against the people’s candidate, Marine Le Pen. The fact that Macron is being referred to as the next Obama or Trudeau is no accident; that’s exactly what he is. As a former investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque, he is a globalist puppet.»
Gratta, gratta e saltano fuori i soliti criminali.
«la nave Aquarius della Ong SOS Mediterranée»
«SOS MEDITERRANEE is a European, maritime-humanitarian organisation for the rescue of life in the Mediterranean. It was founded by European citizens who chartered the rescue vessel Aquarius in order to save people in distress in the Central Mediterranean – the in the world’s most deadly migration route. Our four headquarters are located in Berlin (Germany), Marseilles (France), Palermo (Italy) and Geneva (Switzerland). ….
SOS MEDITERRANEE è un’organizzazione umanitaria europea interamente finanziata dalla popolazione solidale a livello globale e dall’appoggio della società civile.
Con la nostra nave di soccorso AQUARIUS siamo da Febbraio 2016 attivi nel Mediterraneo con operazioni di soccorso grazie alle quali abbiamo salvato 19.325 persone in condizioni disperate ed accolte a bordo altre 8.421 per un totale di 27.746.
Le attività in mare della nave Aquarius costano 11.000 al giorno, cifra necessaria per potere pagare il noleggio della nave, del suo equipaggio, il carburante e l’insieme delle attrezzature necessarie per accogliere, nutrire e curare i rifugiati. » [Sos Mediterranée]
Cerchiamo di ragionare, nel limite del possibile.
L’Aquarius presenta un costo annuo di quattro milioni di euro, cifra raccolta tra la ‘società civile’ mondiale, ossia da altre ngo (ong). Chi li paga? Il Contribuente Europeo …..
«Why is there a migrant crisis in the Mediterranean? Why are NGOs involved? Because there is an extensive network of open borders activists and organizations behind it; many of them are directly funded by or cooperated with George Soros’ Open Society. Is it illegal? Not really. Political activism is an essential part of democratic societies. However, sometimes it goes too far, or the promoted causes prove to be either unrealistic or unsustainable.
The network of the “immigration lobby’’ in Italy is made up of International NGOs financed by the Open Society Foundation (green), Italian NGOs financed by OSF (blue), and organizations with shared projects with OSF (purple). ….
Associazione Carta di Roma lists the following “reliable’’ sources, many of which are Italian or international NGOs directly funded by the Open Society Foundation: Amnesty International, ASGI, COSPE, 21 Luglio, Fortress Europe, A Buon Diritto, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Save The Children, currently involved in the migrant traffic in the Mediterranean and finally UNAR, recently involved in a scandal of gay prostitution. ….
Cospe Onlus is a non-profit, private organization founded in 1983. It operates in 30 countries with 150 projects “to favour equal and sustainable development, respect of human rights, peace and justice for people’’, supporting the right to international mobility. Its goal is a world where “diversity is considered a value, a world with many voices, where the meeting of different people results in mutual enrichment and where social justice goes through equal rights and opportunities’’.
Cospe is among the original founders and promoters of SOS Mediterranee Italia, an NGO that works in the Mediterranean cooperating with Médecins Sans Frontières on the ship Acquarius»
«The last budget published is from 2015. Cospe gathered funding of approximately €9.5 million, of which €7.5 million was from public subjects, the most relevant of which are the European Union (66%) and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (27%).»
Sotto il precedente governo Gentiloni, e tutti gli altri gestiti dal partito democratico, governi di infausta memoria, la Unione Europea finanziava Cospe per 4.95 milioni l’anno ed il Ministero Italiano per gli Esteri elargiva alla stessa due milioni all’anno. Totale 7.5 milioni contro uno solo di spese. Il resto? Tutto pappato!
Se l’Unione Europea volesse interrompere il flusso di migranti che lei stessa finanza, sarebbe sufficiente che smettesse di finanziare codesti mercanti di schivi, che lucrano sul denaro pubblico. E che dire poi dei mai sufficientemente esecrati governi pidiini che finanziavano simili attività?
Mr Macron ha bloccato ai migranti porti e frontiere francesi, ma non intende perdere i proventi di simili criminosi guadagni.
* * * * * * *
«Gabriel Attal, a spokesman for Macron’s party, went further, telling Public Senat TV: “The Italian position makes me vomit.”»
«Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte responded angrily. Italy cannot accept hypocritical lessons from countries that have always preferred to turn their backs when it comes to immigration,” Conte said in a statement.»
«Italy has taken in more than 640,000 mainly African migrants over the past five years. Other EU states have largely ignored pleas by Rome to take in some of the newcomers and share the cost of their care, heightening anti-European and anti-migrant sentiment in Italy»
«Salvini: francesi chiedano scusa “Mi sembra che proprio in questi minuti l’ambasciatore francese sia stato convocato dal nostro ministro degli Esteri che, a nome del popolo italiano, chiederà spiegazioni degli insulti non solo al Governo ma a un popolo che è tra i primi al mondo per generosità, accoglienza, volontariato: se i francesi avranno l’umiltà di chiedere scusa, pari e patta e amici come prima”. Lo ha detto il vicepresidente del Consiglio e ministro dell’Interno, Matteo Salvini, a margine dell’assemblea di Confesercenti. “Insulti da chi respinge e chiude i ponti non li accettiamo”, ha sottolineato Salvini. Il ministro dell’Interno oggi sul suo profilo Facebook è tornato a sottolineare che: “I francesi fanno i fenomeni ma hanno respinto più di diecimila persone alle frontiere con l’Italia, tra cui moltissime donne e bambini. Sommessamente ricordo poi che, sul fronte Nord Africa, paghiamo tutti l’instabilità portata proprio dai francesi in Libia e a sud della Libia”. Cosi il ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini su Facebook commenta un articolo, che linka, in cui si riportano le durissime critiche arrivate ieri dalla Francia alla sua gestione della vicenda della nave Aquarius.”L’Italia oggi e’ tornata centrale e ha risvegliato l’Europa, spero che tutti i Paesi diano il loro contributo per l’obiettivo comune: difesa delle frontiere esterne, difesa del Mediterraneo”, conclude» [Rai News]
* * * * * * * *
La Farnesina avrebbe dovuto convocare Mr Soros assieme all’Ambasciatore francese.
L’attività delle ogn (ngo) sul suolo italiano dovrebbe essere vietata, così come lo è in tutti i paesi civili.
Italy sent hundreds of migrants towards Spain in a small naval convoy on Tuesday after shutting its own ports to them, sparking a war of words with France that exposed EU tensions over immigration.
Some 629 migrants, including 11 children and seven pregnant women, have been afloat in the central Mediterranean aboard the Aquarius rescue ship since Sunday, when both Italy and Malta refused to let them dock.
Spain unexpectedly offered on Monday to take in the group of mainly sub-Saharan Africans, who were picked up off the Libyan coast over the weekend. But the Aquarius is heavily overcrowded, making the four-day trip to Spain particularly perilous.
To resolve the problem, two Italian boats moved alongside the Aquarius on Tuesday to share out the migrants before heading west through what are forecast to be stormy seas.
The convoy set sail at around 9 p.m. (1900 GMT), according to a spokeswoman for the Franco-German charity SOS Mediterranne which is operating the Aquarius.
It will take the Aquarius about 10 days to make the trip to Spain and back, leaving the Dutch-flagged Sea Watch 3 alone off the coast of Libya – a staging ground for people smugglers – looking out for migrant boats in distress.
The Sea Watch reported that a migrant shipwreck had claimed at least 12 lives. A U.S. Navy ship, Trenton, radioed Sea Watch on Tuesday to say it had picked up 12 bodies and 41 survivors from a sinking rubber boat.
“This shows what happens when there are not enough rescue assets at sea,” said Sea Watch spokesman Ruben Neugebauer.
Italy has taken in more than 640,000 mainly African migrants over the past five years. Other EU states have largely ignored pleas by Rome to take in some of the newcomers and share the cost of their care, heightening anti-European and anti-migrant sentiment in Italy.
Matteo Salvini, Italy’s new interior minister and head of the far-right League, has said his decision not to accept the migrant boat is aimed at forcing other European states to help bear the strain.
However, French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the decision to block the Aquarius, saying that under international law Italy should have taken the migrants in.
“There is a degree of cynicism and irresponsibility in the Italian government’s behavior with regard to this dramatic humanitarian situation,” government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux quoted Macron as telling his cabinet.
Gabriel Attal, a spokesman for Macron’s party, went further, telling Public Senat TV: “The Italian position makes me vomit.”
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte responded angrily.
“Italy cannot accept hypocritical lessons from countries that have always preferred to turn their backs when it comes to immigration,” Conte said in a statement.
Dopo le dichiarazioni di Parigi sulla vicenda Aquarius.
ROMA, 13 GIU – “A seguito delle dichiarazioni rilasciate ieri a Parigi sulla vicenda Aquarius, il ministro degli Esteri e della Cooperazione internazionale, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, ha convocato questa mattina alla Farnesina l’ambasciatore di Francia in Italia”. Lo fa sapere l’ufficio stampa della Farnesina.
Un Paese “irresponsabile e cinico” sui migranti, con una posizione sull’accoglienza “vomitevole” e un governo impegnato a “strumentalizzare” politicamente il dramma degli sbarchi. La Francia colpisce duro e non fa sconti all’Italia sul caso Aquarius, aprendo una crisi diplomatica che coinvolge l’intera Europa. Capofila dell’attacco frontale è il presidente Macron, che nella giornata di ieri ha lanciato un doppio affronto all’Italia, prima con le parole del portavoce del suo partito, En Marche, e poi attraverso quelle del portavoce di governo. Parole durissime, ma condivise dalla Spagna, che non solo ha accolto la nave bloccata da giorni nel Mediterraneo offrendo l’attracco nel porto di Valencia, ma ha anche lanciato un monito all’Italia, ravvisando eventuali – secondo la neo ministra della Giustizia iberica Dolores Delgado – “responsabilità penali internazionali” per aver violato i trattati internazionali sui diritti umani.
Il doppio e pesantissimo attacco ha scatenato l’ira di Palazzo Chigi, che in serata ha rilasciato una nota di fuoco contro Macron paventando l’ipotesi di far saltare il previsto vertice fra i due Paesi: “Le dichiarazioni intorno alla vicenda Aquarius che arrivano dalla Francia – si legge – sono sorprendenti e denunciano una grave mancanza di informazioni su ciò che sta realmente accadendo. L’Italia non può accettare lezioni ipocrite da Paesi che in tema di immigrazione hanno sempre preferito voltare la testa dall’altra parte”.
Sulla scia delle polemiche, questa mattina la Farnesina ha convocato l’ambasciatore francese: “A seguito delle dichiarazioni rilasciate ieri a Parigi sulla vicenda Aquarius, il ministro degli Esteri e della Cooperazione internazionale, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, ha convocato questa mattina alla Farnesina l’ambasciatore di Francia in Italia”.
Dentro i confini del Parlamento, intanto, la crisi diplomatica continua a rafforzare le due anime del governo: in perfetta sintonia, infatti, le dichiarazioni dei leader Salvini e Di Maio, entrambi impegnati a difendere azioni e strategie italiane contro il ‘nemico’.
“Mi sembra che proprio in questi minuti l’ambasciatore francese sia stato convocato dal ministro degi Esteri che a nome del popolo italiano chiederà spiegazione degli insulti rivolti non solo a un governo ma a un popolo tra i primi al mondo per generosità e accoglienza”, ha commentato stamane Salvini arrivando all’assemblea di Confesercenti, aggiungendo: “Se i francesi avranno l’umiltà di chiedere scusa, pari e patta, amici come prima e si lavora in tutte le sedi. Però gli insulti da parte di chi respinge e chiude i porti non li accettiamo”, ha rimarcato il ministro dell’Interno.
“Proprio loro parlano…”, il commento di ieri del pentastellato ministro del Lavoro Di Maio, per il quale “Francia e Spagna hanno chiuso i loro porti da tempo. La Spagna ha praticato addirittura i respingimenti a caldo che sono stati anche condannati dalla Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo”. Sulla stessa lunghezza d’onda il ministro Salvini:
È durata per lunga pezza la resistenza dell’Ungheria di Mr Orban alle azioni del ngo (ong) finanziate da Mr Soros per propagare l’ideologia liberal e svolgere attività contro il governo legalmente in carica. Ma dopo che si è resistito ai nazionalsocialisti e poi ai comunisti non ci si trova certo paura dei loro nipotini.
Adesso, dopo la clamorosa vittoria elettorale ove gli Elettori ungheresi hanno dato al Presidente Orban la maggioranza assoluta dei seggi, in grado tale che potrebbe anche varare leggi che variassero la costituzione, Mr Soros ritira da quella nazione le sue ngo, prima che esse siano dichiarate fuori legge ed i suoi membri verosimilmente fossero arrestati.
La notizia arriva a pochi giorni di distanza dall’anniversario della liberazione dell’Ungheria dall’occupazione nazionalsocialista.
«George Soros’ Open Society Foundations will close their office in Budapest and move their eastern European operations to Berlin»
«the Open Society Foundations (OSF) has said it will leave Budapest after a sustained campaign against the globalist influence of George Soros»
«OSF chairman Patrick Gaspard personally travelled to Hungary’s capital to inform around 100 members of staff there that the international grantmaking network founded by Soros will be moving its Eastern European operations to Berlin»
«The OSF’s announcement followed reports that Soros’ Central European University (CEU) is also planning to retreat from Hungary, with the institution having already signed an agreement with a landlord in Vienna where it will establish a campus»
«Both are radically pro-immigration and are both committed enemies of the Hungarian government and Hungarian migration policy»
La dirigenza dell’Unione Europea, nelle persone del Presidente Juncker e del Presidente Tusk, unitamente alla Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel, avevano da sempre dichiarato ai quattro venti che avrebbero denunciato Mr Orban e che nel caso avrebbero preso severissime misure contro la Ungheria. Essi ritengono infatti essere antidemocratico e tirannico quel governo che non approvasse e favorisse le ngo di Mr Soros sul proprio territorio, elemento questo caratterizzante l’apice della scala valoriale liberal.
No ngo? No European Union.
Siamo tutti in attesa di vedere cosa e come faranno.
Die Open Society Foundation von George Soros schließt ihr Büro in Budapest und zieht nach Berlin.
Wien/Budapest. Patrick Gaspard war eigens nach Budapest gereist, um den rund 100 Mitarbeitern die schlechte Nachricht zu verkünden. Der Chef der Open Society Foundation (OSF), einer vom ungarischstämmigen US-Milliardär George Soros gegründeten Stiftung, gab am Donnerstag die Schließung des Büros in der ungarischen Hauptstadt bekannt. Im Sommer will die Organisation, die in Europa Niederlassungen in Brüssel, Paris und London hat, stattdessen eine Filiale in Berlin eröffnen. Dies bestätigte die OSF-Zentrale in New York der „Presse“. Das Hauptquartier wollte den Schritt vorerst nicht kommentieren.
In a major victory for the Hungarian government and the Hungarian people who overwhelmingly re-elected it in the recent elections, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) has said it will leave Budapest after a sustained campaign against the globalist influence of George Soros.
OSF chairman Patrick Gaspard personally travelled to Hungary’s capital to inform around 100 members of staff there that the international grantmaking network founded by Soros will be moving its Eastern European operations to Berlin, Austria’s Die Pressereported Thursday.
After closing its Budapest office in August, the organisation will operate temporarily in Vienna before moving to a site in the German capital, according to the liberal news portal 444.hu.
The OSF’s announcement followed reports that Soros’ Central European University (CEU) is also planning to retreat from Hungary, with the institution having already signed an agreement with a landlord in Vienna where it will establish a campus.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s conservative Fidesz party swept to victory in elections, winning a huge two-thirds majority of seats in the Hungarian parliament after a campaign vowing to protect citizens from Soros’s plans to turn the country into a multicultural “nation of immigrants”.
major pillar of the party’s campaign was directed at the influence of foreign NGOs and the far left financier, who has spent more than $32 billion on OSF’s work to “build vibrant and tolerant democracies” since launching what he describes as his “philanthropic” career in South Africa in 1979.
Since the election, Fidesz has said that a major priority for the government will be passing a package of bills dubbed the “Stop Soros” laws which would tax foreign income to NGOs and restrict the operations of open borders groups.
Speaking on public radio following the foundation’s announcement, Orbán remarked: “I think you will understand if I fail to cry over its decision to close the headquarters in our capital.
“The fight against Soros, its liberal ideology, its initiatives on migrants, will continue wherever the foundations of its foundation are,” he told MR1.
Earlier this week, the government said that despite a landslide victory for patriots at the polls, it was “crystal clear” the Hungarian-born billionaire remains committed to flooding unwilling EU nations with third world migrants.
Both the Fidesz spokesman Zoltán Kovács and the foreign minister Péter Szijjártó denounced a meeting in Brussels Monday between Soros and the European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans.
“Both are radically pro-immigration and are both committed enemies of the Hungarian government and Hungarian migration policy,” said Szijjártó, stressing that Fidesz has been given a mandate to resist any attempts by the pair to implement their globalist ideology in Hungary.
George Soros’ Open Society Foundations will close their office in Budapest and move their eastern European operations to Berlin, Austria’s Die Presse newspaper reported on Thursday.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has blamed Soros, a Hungarian-born U.S. financier, for a host of ills and pushed through legislation cracking down on non-governmental organizations called the “Stop Soros” laws which drew international criticism.
The Hungarian news web site 444.hu said the Open Society Foundations office would shut by Aug. 31 and move first to Vienna then on to Berlin.
Reuters was not been able to immediately reach the Open Society Foundations either in Budapest or New York.
Orban, a self-styled champion of what he calls an “illiberal democracy”, has long been at odds with Soros’ network of NGO’s which promote liberal values around the world.
The Hungarian premier has for years waged a campaign against migration into Europe, an issue at the center of his re-election bid which resulted in a third landslide victory this month.
Orban’s Fidesz party said it would deliver on campaign promises to crack down on NGOs that promote migrant rights. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said the election was characterized by xenophobic and intimidating messages.
The legislation submitted to parliament before the election would impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that the government says back immigration.
Their activity would have to be approved by the interior minister, who could deny permission if he saw a national security risk.
Open Society Foundations could not immediately be reached for comment. Hungarian government spokespeople did not immediately reply to emailed requests for comment.
The Soros-founded Central European University has also said it is opening a campus in Vienna in the near future. It has said it remains committed to its Budapest campus, despite government pressure that it said was geared to oust it from Hungary.
Per una testata la manifestazione si è svolta di notte e per l’altra di giorno. E, sembrerebbe, anche in due porzioni di piazza differenti.
Guardatevi le fotografie e traetene la conclusione. La contraddizione è evidente.
L’otto aprile 2018 la società civile ungherese è andata a votare per le elezioni politiche ed ha eletto per il Fidesz di Mr Orban 134 / 199 deputati: gli ha conferito la maggioranza qualificata in seno al parlamento. Il Jobbik ha preso 25 / 199 deputati e gli altri partiti si sono spartiti le frattaglie.
L’Mszp aveva ottenuto 635,283 voti. Ricordiamo come Il Partito Socialista Ungherese sia una formazione politica social democratica. Il partito è membro dell’Internazionale Socialista e del Partito del Socialismo Europeo.
I liberal ed i socialisti di tutta Europa sono rimasti basiti: il popolo sovrano, gli Elettori, non hanno concesso loro nemmeno un modestissimo dieci per cento. La società civile li ha molto civilmente messi all’uscio nel momento in cui non li ha votati più a lungo. E ciò che li rode è il fatto che gli ungheresi abbiano votato Mr Orban.
«Mr Orban is a strong Eurosceptic who campaigned on an anti-immigration platform»
Apriti Cielo!! Pardon!! Per i liberal il Cielo non esiste, quindi non potrebbe aprirsi.
Dapprima ammettono a denti stretti
«the governing Fidesz party won two-thirds of the parliamentary seats with half of the national vote.»
Vero. Ma questo è solo effetto della legge elettorale, simile per la sua componente di voto per collegio a quella del democratico Regno Unito e della democratica Italia ove, non dimentichiamocelo, la legge elettorale fu varata proprio dal partito democratico. Ma la legge elettorale è buona e santa solo se fa vincere i liberal: in caso contrario deve essere cambiata a spron battuto.
* * *
A detta della Bbc ci sarebbero stati in piazza oltre 100,000 persone
«Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated in Budapest against the re-elected right-wing government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban»
Cerchiamo di ragionare.
Se l’Mszp ha raccolto in tutta la Ungheria 635,283 come avrebbe potuto portare in piazza a Budapest oltre 100,000 persone?
In realtà questo intervento della Bbc è la parafrasi di questo articolo:
che guarda caso, chi mai lo avrebbe potuto immaginare, fa anche esso capo al network delle ngo di quel santo uomo.
E cosa vorrebbero mai costoro (meno di 10,000 per la polizia)?
«The organisers of the anti-Orban protests have demanded a recount of all ballots, a new election law, a non-partisan public media, and better organised co-operation among parties opposed to the Fidesz government»
Sono reduci da una débâcle elettorale di immani proporzioni e vorrebbero anche nuove elezioni?
I liberal non sono riusciti a far eleggere un deputato e vorrebbero farci credere che contano qualcosa, che rappresentano qualcosa?
«We want to live in a state of law, where checks and balances are present, we want to live in a real democracy»
Benissimo. Più che bene.
Vogliono vivere in una vera democrazia?
Allora che queste insignificante opposizioni si adattino a fare la minoranza: che rientrino nei ranghi.
The march was organised through a Facebook group called “We are the majority”. Following the large turn-out for Saturday’s rally, the organisers have called for a further demonstration next weekend.
BBC correspondent Nick Thorpe reported from Budapest that around 100,000 people attended Saturday’s protests. Many were brandishing Hungarian and European Union flags.
A large number of police were deployed in the capital, including riot officers, however the demonstration remained peaceful.
Speakers who participated in the event denounced what they called Mr Orban’s theft of the election, and the corruption and abuse of power they say characterises his rule.
Asked about the prospect of forthcoming demonstrations, Mr Orban simply replied: “We won, that’s it.”
The organisers of the anti-Orban protests have demanded a recount of all ballots, a new election law, a non-partisan public media, and better organised co-operation among parties opposed to the Fidesz government.
Si stanno svolgendo in Ungheria le elezioni politiche per il rinnovo di Governo e Parlamento.
Imponente l’afflusso alle urne.
«Long lines of Hungarian voters stretched for blocks Sunday outside polling stations in Budapest, with some waiting for two to three hours to cast their ballots as Prime Minister Viktor Orban sought a fourth term on a platform that demonized migrants»
«According to the National Election Office, over 4.22 million voters had cast ballots by 3 p.m. (1300 GMT), or 53.6 percent of those eligible. That was the highest turnout figure for that hour since at least 1998»
* * *
Il Valley Star non è il classico giornale pro Orban.
Quando è in vena di cortese gentilezza, lo chiama “autocratic Orban“.
«Orban claims that the opposition — collaborating with the United Nations, the European Union and wealthy philanthropist George Soros — wants to turn Hungary into an “immigrant country,” threatening its security and Christian identity»
«”Voter turnout is at record high,” tweeted Tamas Boros, co-director of the Policy Solutions think-tank. “This means either an overwhelming support for Orban or the end of Fidesz as (the) omnipotent political party in Hungary. The Hungarian political landscape will dramatically change today.”»
* * *
In Ungheria si vota con un sistema elettorale simile al Rosatellum. Quando questo sistema fu votato dall’allora partito democratico italiano questa legge elettorale era la quintessenza della democrazia. Ora che lo usano gli ungheresi è il segno evidente della bieca dittatura di Mr Orban.
All’articolista proprio è rimasto sulle bitte della strozza che Mr Orban avesse mosso appunti a Mr Soros.
In ogni caso, leggendo questo articolo, per l’estensore dovrebbe essere evidente quanto
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Long lines of Hungarian voters stretched for blocks Sunday outside polling stations in Budapest, with some waiting for two to three hours to cast their ballots as Prime Minister Viktor Orban sought a fourth term on a platform that demonized migrants.
Polls agree on the eventual triumph of Orban’s right-wing nationalist Fidesz party and its allied Christian Democrats in Sunday’s national vote but opposition leaders were encouraged by a high early turnout. A splintered opposition and Hungary’s complex electoral system make it hard to predict the expected margin of victory for Fidesz.
In all, 199 seats in parliament were up for grabs Sunday. Opposition parties are keen to make sure that Orban’s bloc does not sweep to a super-majority in which the autocratic leader could easily push through more constitutional changes.
The autocratic Orban has campaigned heavily on his unyielding anti-migration policies, though voters say they are more concerned with poverty, growing government corruption and the country’s underfunded health care system.
Long lines of voters were reported also at the Hungarian embassies in London and Paris. The opposition Socialist Party urged authorities to “at least distribute water” in districts where voters were waiting in line for hours.
According to the National Election Office, over 4.22 million voters had cast ballots by 3 p.m. (1300 GMT), or 53.6 percent of those eligible. That was the highest turnout figure for that hour since at least 1998.
“We are celebrating democracy and it seems like this feast will be beautiful because many of us are taking part,” said Gergely Karacsony, the leading candidate of the left-wing Socialist and Dialogue parties.
Analysts, however, were more cautious about the significance of the turnout.
“Voter turnout is at record high,” tweeted Tamas Boros, co-director of the Policy Solutions think-tank. “This means either an overwhelming support for Orban or the end of Fidesz as (the) omnipotent political party in Hungary. The Hungarian political landscape will dramatically change today.”
Gabor Vona of the nationalist Jobbik party urged his supporters not to become complacent.
“Figures show that it will be an election with a high voter turnout. But this is not the time to sit back,” Vona said after voting his home city of Gyonygyos in northern Hungary. “This is when all those who want a change of government … ask all those who have yet to vote to by all means go and vote.”
Orban claims that the opposition — collaborating with the United Nations, the European Union and wealthy philanthropist George Soros — wants to turn Hungary into an “immigrant country,” threatening its security and Christian identity.
Government influence on the media was palpable in Sunday’s broadcast by state television M1 news channel, where reports highlighting the negative effects of migration dominated the programming.
On Origo.hu, a formerly independent website now owned by government allies, stories promoted Orban while also focusing on migration with headlines like “Migrant gangs fought in England,” ”They can’t stand it anymore in Sweden: They’ve had enough of migrants,” and “A migrant in underpants beat a German retiree half to death.”
The opposition denies Orban’s claims on migration. Vona said the question was not about migration into Hungary but about the large number of Hungarians who were leaving the country and heading to Western Europe in search of higher wages and better prospects.
“Today will decide whether Hungary becomes an emigrant country or not — and I wouldn’t like Hungary to be an emigrant country,” Vona said.
Uncertainties about Orban’s expected margin of victory are caused by Hungary’s complex electoral system in which voters cast two ballots, one for an individual candidate in their region and another for a party list.
Opposition parties have urged Hungarians to vote tactically for the opposition candidate with the best chance to defeat the Fidesz candidate in the 106 individual districts — but it’s not clear how much impact that will have. Another 93 seats will be distributed based on votes for entire party lists.
Some 8.3 million Hungarians are eligible to vote, with preliminary results expected Sunday night.
Tuttavia questa mattina, a penna della sig.ra Monica Perosino, vice caposervizio degli Esteri per la testata La Stampa, è apparso un articolo particolarmente agguerrito, che sembrerebbe riassumere in modo esaustivo tutte le motivazioni delle opposizioni al Presidente Orban, ivi compresa l’opposizione estera fatta da Mr Soros.
Non vogliamo commentare in nulla.
Ci permettiamo solo di ricordare ai signori Lettori che senzanubi non condivide uno iota di questo articolo: neppure un segno paragrafematico o diacritico.
Il premier attacca il rivale Soros, i migranti e «le potenze straniere». L’economia in crescita aiuta il leader. Opposizione assente sui media.
Il premier ungherese Viktor Orban sembra considerare il voto di domani una noiosa seppur necessaria formalità. Lui guarda già oltre, come se nulla potesse scalfire il suo regno ininterrotto e, apparentemente, incrollabile.
Strategia elettorale o convinzione poco importa, l’uomo forte dell’Ungheria non mostra tentennamenti, e il quarto mandato (il terzo consecutivo) per lui non è in discussione.
Per questo guarda già avanti e promette: «Dopo la vittoria mi occuperò dei miei nemici, con mezzi morali, politici e legali». Lo sguardo volitivo del premier rimbalza all’infinito sui poster formato gigante che macchiano di verde e rosso le facciate dei sontuosi palazzi di Budapest. Sono ovunque, e dappertutto ripetono la promessa elettorale di Orban. Solo il logo del partito di ultradestra Jobbik compete in dimensione, non certo in numero. Appesi con scotch di carta ai lampioni, timidamente incollati ai cestini e ai muri delle vie laterali sono comparsi, nemmeno due settimane fa, i volti dei candidati all’opposizione. «Fino a ieri neanche sapevamo che faccia avessero – dice János Seres, che vende lattine di paprika ungherese al mercato -. Ma non siamo sorpresi, d’altronde è il governo che dà i permessi per le affissioni. Le elezioni qui sono inutili». I sondaggi sembrano dargli ragione, pochi dubbi che sarà ancora Orban, l’inventore della «democrazia illiberale», a guidare il Paese: l’ultimo attribuisce all’alleanza Fidesz-Cristiano democratici il 47% dei voti, un risultato che, se dovesse avverarsi, fornirebbe a Orban una solida maggioranza nel Parlamento magiaro. Molto staccato il principale rivale, il partito ultranazionalista di Jobbik, con il 18%. Il Partito socialista si attesterebbe sul 14%.
I nemici di Viktor
La promessa di abbattere «i nemici dell’Ungheria» è stata la cifra di una campagna elettorale che negli ultimi 8 mesi ha raggiunto picchi di tensione altissimi, culminati in scandali finanziari, accuse di spionaggio, propaganda e contropropaganda, fake news, corruzione. Sono stati chiusi giornali di opposizione, e «gli oligarchi amici di Orban – spiega l’analista Ivett Korosi – si sono comprati quasi tutti gli altri». Da lunedì, a scanso di sorprese elettorali, la battaglia continuerà.
I nemici sono innanzitutto i migranti, che «vogliono invadere l’Ungheria e cancellare i valori cristiani», contro i quali Orban ha già innalzato un muro di 175 chilometri e, due anni fa, ha indetto un referendum per fermare la ricollocazione chiesta dalla Ue. È contro «l’invasione» che si è concentrata la campagna elettorale. Il governo ha diffuso storie terribili di malattie tropicali diffuse dai profughi, ha mostrato foto di fantomatici ghetti islamisti (a Vienna, Parigi, Berlino e Stoccolma) paventando un destino simile per l’Ungheria e ha diffuso «dati», come quello della percentuale di nigeriani malati di Aids («l’80%»). Pochi giorni fa Zoltan Lomnici Jr., portavoce del Com, movimento pro-Orban, ha arringato la folla a Budapest sostenendo che la maggior parte degli africani è malato di Hiv e in Svezia 4 donne su 5 violentate dai migranti hanno contratto il virus.
La retorica funziona. Molti ungheresi credono alla narrativa di Orban secondo la quale il Paese sarebbe sotto attacco da varie potenze straniere «aiutate dai media internazionali» e dal miliardario filantropo americano-ungherese George Soros, attraverso i suoi «agenti», ovvero le Ong internazionali che difendono i diritti umani. È Soros il nemico pubblico numero uno: alla guida di «un impero che lavora, con duemila “mercenari” in tutta l’Ungheria, per trasformare l’intero continente e i suoi Stati in Paesi di immigrati».
Daniel Makonnen, portavoce della Fondazione Open Society di Soros a Budapest, snocciola l’infinita serie di fondi destinati a organizzazioni umanitarie, educazione, media indipendenti e organizzazioni anti corruzione. L’anno scorso si sono sfiorati i 4 milioni di euro: «La fondazione lavora anche per promuovere l’informazione: nel Paese, Budapest a parte, le uniche fonti sono i giornali locali, controllati dal governo, e la tv nazionale, infarcita di pubblicità di Fidesz in mezzo ai programmi di cucina. Questa campagna elettorale è stata durissima, le voci del dissenso praticamente annullate». Non stupisce che la base degli elettori, soprattutto nelle aree rurali, «non abbia neanche idea di un’alternativa a Orban».
Il suo elettorato non è più quello delle élite filo-europee delle grandi città, ma quello dei ceti medio-bassi e dei contadini. Le indagini demoscopiche rivelano che su tre aventi diritto solo due dichiarano l’intenzione di andare a votare: la bassa affluenza favorisce Fidesz che ha una base solida di circa 2 milioni di votanti certi. Il 30-35% dell’elettorato, infine, sarebbe incerto su chi votare. Se, ipotesi improbabile, i partiti di opposizione riuscissero a chiamare questa parte di elettori alle urne, una sorpresa non è esclusa.
La forza persuasiva del premier sta soprattutto nell’economia: come l’alleata Polonia, l’Ungheria ha una crescita fortissima (+4% nel 2017), anche se pesantemente dopata dai 5 miliardi di euro dell’Europa. Il risultato è un «benessere» che però non si rispecchia nella realtà nazionale. Un quarto della popolazione è a rischio povertà, con salari bassissimi e una flat tax che piega soprattutto le classi più basse, tanto che nel 2017 la Commissione europea ha indicato in Ungheria l’aumento peggiore delle diseguaglianze in tutta l’Unione.
In campo economico Orban ha progressivamente abbandonato le politiche liberiste dei primi anni, orientandosi verso un potenziamento del settore pubblico. Ammiratore di Putin e Trump («finalmente con lui finisce il multiculturalismo»), lo stesso Bannon ha definito Orban un «eroe» per la sua rivoluzionaria visione di «democrazia illiberale» e nazionalista.
Il paradosso europeo
Sebbene il premier ungherese sia considerato un euroscettico (anche se il suo Fidesz è nel Ppe), e l’Europa lo consideri un pericolo per lo stato di diritto, Orban sta molto attento a non spingersi troppo oltre, anche perché è consapevole che gli ungheresi sono fortemente europeisti. Non solo, Martin Michelot, vice direttore del think tank «Europeum», e curatore di un rapporto pubblicato dall’Istituto Delors di Parigi, spiega che «Orban non combatte l’Europa», e «sa benissimo che il Paese dipende dai fondi europei e dagli investimenti stranieri, inclusi quelli delle banche italiane, così come dipende dalla libera circolazione dei lavoratori».
In aprile l’Ungheria andrà alle urne per nuove elezioni politiche.
Fidesz, il partito del Presidente Orban, dovrebbe conseguire la maggioranza percentuale e dei seggi parlamentari: si vedrà se sarà una maggioranza relativa oppure se riuscisse ad ottenere anche quella assoluta.
Si fa un gran vociare che l’Ungheria sarebbe un paese che vive sotto una dittatura che imbriglia la voce del’opposizione: ciò non corrisponde al vero.
In questo articolo daremo spazio proprio all’opposizione nei confronti del Fidesz e del Presidente Orban. Poi, saranno i Signori Lettori a farsi la loro propria opinione in materia.
Sarebbe impossibile poter riportare tutta la stampa avversa al Presidente Orban: in ogni caso, chi ne fosse interessato potrebbe cliccare sul logo delle testate riportate.
I punti centrali del programma di Mr Orban sono il mantenimento dell’identità nazionale senza cedere all’Unione Europea alcunché della propria sovranità nazionale, la valorizzazione del retaggio religioso, storico, culturale e sociale dell’Ungheria, il rifiuto delle quote di migranti, l’allontanamento dal suolo ungherese del ngo (ong) facenti capo a Mr Soros.
Why did the German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp give a podium to Viktor Orbán?
On March 2, 2018 Prime Minister Viktor Orbán inaugurated a new plant for Thyssenkrupp at Jászfényszaru, Hungary. Orbán started by saying, “Naturally, I don’t wish to use the present occasion for campaign purposes,” then immediately launched into a campaign stump speech against migrants and foreigners. He delivered his usual xenophobic and racist message; although, and for this he deserves credit, he didn’t once mention his nemesis, George Soros.
Orbán said, “but I’d like to point out briefly that every project, every job created here, every town development and the dramatic development of Jászfényszaru itself can only be meaningful and enduring if we are able to protect Hungary, and if we can keep the country how we want it to be. If we falter, if we make the wrong decision, if we fail to protect Hungary, within a few years all our developments will prove to have been in vain. If we are no longer Hungarians, if Hungary fails to remain a country of Hungarians, our developments will be of no benefit to us.”
“Because the world – at least as I see and understand it – is heading in a direction in which the only communities which survive and gain in strength will be those which truly know who they are. This means that Hungary, too, can only be successful if it remains a country of Hungarians and does not abandon its traditions…. Therefore our position is clear. We do indeed sympathize with those peoples of the world which are experiencing hardships, but our position is that their problems should not be brought here: instead of bringing problems here, help must be taken there.”
ThyssenKrupp is a large company and has a corporate “Diversity Charter” which is part of their Human Resources policy. Here is an excerpt.
“Diversity breed success. We believe that different cultures enrich us and make working together more enjoyable and more successful. We are committed to a corporate policy that values, supports, and utilizes diversity.”
t is shameful that ThyssenKrupp let Prime Minister Orbán deliver a speech which was against ThyssenKrupp’s own corporate charter as well as core human values. I will ask Heinrich Hiesinger, ThyssenKrupp’s CEO, to comment on this incident because I believe that his company owes an apology to his diverse shareholders and public for this unfortunate inauguration speech. What do you think?
Péter Márki-Zay, the newly-minted Mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, formerly a Fidesz bastion, has launched a website entitled “Regime Change 2018.” The site’s main purpose is to encourage full coordination among the opposition candidates in all 106 electoral districts and to inform citizens as to which candidate to vote for in a given riding, if they wish to defeat the Orbán government. Mr. Márki-Zay’s website also provides a 12-point program for how to rebuild Hungary after the eventual defeat of the Orbán regime–a program developed not only by the mayor, but by both left and right-wing intellectuals, including Gábor Matlák, Péter Ákos Bod and Kálmán Mizsei. My aim is to provide an English-language summary of this program for our readers.
Electoral reform, allowing for a just system for elections, and the restoration of a system of checks and balances. The authors of this manifesto write that this is critical, so as to ensure that “never again will a political minority gain a power monopoly and appropriate the nation’s assets and honour.”
Removal of the Chief Prosecutor of Hungary, Péter Polt, from office and the appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate corruption during the Orbán regime. The authors write: “We cannot allow ever again for the prosecutor’s office, based on partisan considerations, to let criminals run free or to imprison and persecute innocent people.”
The return of national assets and holding people accountable: the authors of this manifesto aim to map out how national assets and public funds were passed illegally to individuals associated with Fidesz and would also investigate the “network of stooges” that have allowed Fidesz politicians to amass their wealth over the last eight years. The manifesto calls for a slogan that can be adopted by all people and parties interested in eliminating the Orbán regime and this slogan is “you will be jailed.” (In Hungarian: “ülni fogtok,” which literally means “you will sit.”)
Press freedom and an end to the politically-motivated, lavish funding of propaganda publications. Government ads placed in publications would be limited and better regulated, and a post-Orbán Hungary would also end discrimination against independent, critical journalists.
A reaffirmation that Hungary is part of the western world, rather than an autocratic east led by Russia, Turkey or China. “In the last century, Mátyás Rákosi and János Kádár, and most recently Viktor Orbán, wanted to change” Hungary’s long-standing traditional alignment with West, dating back to King Stephen.
A reassessment of secret contracts and agreements signed by the Orbán regime, including Paks 2. The manifesto accuses Mr. Orbán and Fidesz of representing the interests of Vladimir Putin and those of “Russian imperialism.”
A true free market economy and predictability, where an empowered competition bureau protects economic competition, ensuring that it is free from party politics. “The foundation of success must be creativity and work, not political connections,” write the authors of the document.
The introduction of the euro in Hungary as soon as possible. The authors of this document believe that it is risky and costly for small and open economies to maintain their own national currencies. The manifesto proposes that after a brief, transitional period adopting the euro in Hungary would stabilize the economy and would make the country more internationally competitive.
Investing in education and health care. Public education should encourage upward social mobility and equal opportunity for all youth in Hungary. In terms of health care, the manifesto prioritizes addressing the intense brain drain in the health care sector, where doctors and nurses leave the country in large numbers for work in western Europe.
Making the files of the communist era state security (secret police) fully open and accessible to the public. The authors believe that full openness with it comes to people who once served as informants or agents of community state security is the only way to ensure that contemporary Hungarian parties do not blackmail opponents with such information.
A new relationship with Hungarians living abroad, particularly in neighbouring countries. The authors suggest that never again can we allow Hungarians in Romania and elsewhere to become political pawns of a ruling party. The manifesto suggests that the way to halt the assimilation of these Hungarian minorities is to make Hungary economically successful and a leading force in the region, like it was after 1989, thus serving as a source of pride for Hungarians abroad.
Defending Hungary from illegal immigrants. The manifesto suggests that Mr. Orbán’s anti-migrant rhetoric is merely a smokescreen, while the regime has allowed upwards of 20,000 Arabs, Chinese and Russians to buy their way to settlement and permanent residency in Hungary, many of whom are believed to have pasts involving criminal activity back home.
It appears as though the Mayor of Hódmezővásárhely has his eyes on national politics. At the moment, as an avowedly conservative politician he certainly enjoys a level of respect in both left-wing and anti-Fidesz right-wing circles and has shown himself as capable of cooperating with both–a true rarity in Hungary.
The National Election Committee (OVB) has fined Prime Minister Viktor Orbán HUF 345,000 (USD 1,360) for unlawfully campaigning among children without the consent of their parents, reports index.hu.
On March 21 Orbán posted a video on his official Facebook page in which he is seen visiting a kindergarten with government commissioner Judit Czunyi-Bertalan in the Komárom-Esztergom county village of Dad. The village belongs to the electoral district where Czunyi-Bertalan is running as Fidesz’s candidate in the general election on April 8.
Throughout the 55-second heavily edited video, Orbán is seen introducing himself to and shaking hands with at least half a dozen kindergarteners. At one point, he calls the children to get together for a group photo but later corrects himself and says “alright, those of you who want to, can pose for a group photo.” All the children are herded together for a photo nevertheless. Standing in the middle with Czunyi-Bertalan, Orbán theatrically raises a shorter boy so that he would be seen in the photo. Then the video ends.
A day later, Orbán shared another video titled “Unexpected visit in Bakonysárkány”. Still campaigning for Czunyi-Bertalan, the prime minister paid a surprise visit to the local community hall where he shook hands with unknowing children dressed in glad rags. The same day, Momentum Movement announced that it would file a report with the OVB for “political pedophilia.” Együtt and three private persons also filed reports with the authority.
On Thursday, a photo (as seen on top) was published on Orbán’s Facebook page in which he is seen shaking hands with children dressed in hussar uniforms during his campaign visit at the Balaton-side resort of Fonyód.
The OVB argues that both Orbán and Czunyi-Bertalan violated the election and the public education laws that prohibit using children for campaign purposes without the consent of their parents. OVB announced that it would forward the case to the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH). In addition to the fine, OVB’s resolution ordains Orbán to remove the video that was shot at the Dad kindergarten and prohibits him and Czunyi-Bertalan from further violation of the law.
Normally, such a distinct action against Fidesz politicians, let alone Orbán, would be unthinkable on the part of OVB. However, in accordance with the election law, each political party that manages to run a national list can delegate one member to the OVB oversight committee who can participate in its work until the inaugural session of the new National Assembly. The current resolution was passed by 13 yes and 7 no votes. This ratio matches that of the opposition and Fidesz members on the committee.