George Soros: the enemy of Eastern European governments

After Viktor Orban’s Hungary, the second European Union state took an aim at George Soros and his funds, accusing him of organizing anti-government protests and attempts at destabilizing the country. The head of the ruling party and a former Romania’s prime minister Liviu Dragnea, known for his independent national economic policy, called the leaders of the recent massive street protests as “agents of George Soros.”1)Romania: Keep the corrupt in jail, where they belong, Al-Jazeera 2017-01-30.

While some believe that “bad” governments from Eastern Europe (from Poland to Macedonia) use Soros’s Open Society Foundation and his broad contacts as a scapegoat in order to avoid the responsibility for their own weak political results, chief communications officer of the Open Society Foundation, Laura Silber, does not try to conceal their engagement.

Civil society plays an important role in holding governments accountable and making democracies stronger; we are proud to support organizations who work to improve people’s lives,” Silber explained.2)Soros Foundation Blames Attacks on ‘Illiberal Governments’, Balkan Insight 2017-02-10.As the Balkan Insight concludes, Open Society Foundations is honoured to finance those working to create better lives for people in the region.

And if any could have doubts whether “protests” are spontaneously staged by the people, the snapshot below is proof of an outstanding organization of participants:

tricolor-protest-piata-victoriei

Photo: Digi24/Business-Review.eu

A EU flag made out of lights by around 6000 people in front of the Romanian government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania is pictured on February 26, 2017. Protesters gather for the 27th day in a row asking for the Grindeanu cabinet to resign. / AFP / Daniel MIHAILESCU (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo: DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

Soros is a persona non grata by some governments in Eastern Europe. Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the Hungarian ruling Fidesz party, said in January that the country would use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born Jewish financier, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments.” 3)Hungary Plans to Crack Down on All Soros-Funded NGOs, Bloomberg 2017-01-10.

Hungarians were not by any means first. Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski announced the „de-Soros-isation” of the state,4)Soros Foundation Blames Attacks on ‘Illiberal Governments’, Balkan Insight 2017-02-10.saying that “If it were not for George Soros behind it with all the millions he pours into Macedonia, the entire network of NGOs, media, politicians, inside and out … the economy would be stronger, we would have had more new jobs.”5)Billionaire #Soros accused of ‘undermining democracy’ in EU member states, EU Reporter 2017-02-23.

Soros was accused of interfering in the national interests also in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, as well as Poland. His activity may be one of the reasons of recent political upheaval in Romania, though.

The ruling Social Democrats Party (PSD) pursued an independent economic policy before and after December’s election. Beyond lowering taxes (which was not fully approved by the EU but had a good economic impact on the country), the Romanian government has passed a law requiring that 51% of products such as meat, vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy items and bread sold in supermarkets should come from local producers. Acting under pressure from the French lobby,6)“Romania: from a “Two-Tiered Europe” to a Europe of the Double Bind”, Visegrad Post 2017-02-16.the European Commission opened in response infringement procedures against Romania over the food retail law that violates the freedom of movement of goods.7)EC opens infringement procedures against Romania over food retail law, illegal landfills, See News 2017-02-15.

The split in Europe between Western and Eastern countries is going to deepen even more with every political attempt from Brussels to resolve current problems.

References   [ + ]

1. Romania: Keep the corrupt in jail, where they belong, Al-Jazeera 2017-01-30.
2, 4. Soros Foundation Blames Attacks on ‘Illiberal Governments’, Balkan Insight 2017-02-10.
3. Hungary Plans to Crack Down on All Soros-Funded NGOs, Bloomberg 2017-01-10.
5. Billionaire #Soros accused of ‘undermining democracy’ in EU member states, EU Reporter 2017-02-23.
6. “Romania: from a “Two-Tiered Europe” to a Europe of the Double Bind”, Visegrad Post 2017-02-16.
7. EC opens infringement procedures against Romania over food retail law, illegal landfills, See News 2017-02-15.

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