Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary. He lived in the country until his late teen years. He left Hungary for England in 1947 during the early years of Soviet Union Communist occupation.
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Earlier this month, Prime Minister’s Office through Minister János Lázár said, “[Soros] keeps bombarding the international public with his earth-shattering plans, quite obviously, in the name of true selflessness which he has manifested in so many ways in the countries where his activities have resulted in sovereign default in the past 30 years.”
Soros was well-known as “the Man who Broke the Bank of England” after betting against the value of the British pound in 1992. He profited approximately $1 billion from his bet when the currency collapsed.
In 2009, the Hungarian government imposed a $2.2 million fine against Soros for trying to manipulate the stock of the country’s largest bank. In 2002, a French court found Soros guilty of insider trading in the late 1980s. The billionaire investor appealed the case and argued that the government’s law on insider trading was too ambiguous at the time to find him guilty. In 2011, a European court upheld the decision of the French court.
Hungarians views refugees as a threat
The latest survey conducted by a Budapest think tank, Republikon, found that 66% of Hungarians view refugees as a threat and must not be allowed to enter the country. Only 19% of the respondents believe that Hungary has a responsibility to accept refugees.
The results of the survey showed that racist beliefs dominate Hungary’s small towns where people strongly support the fascist Jobbik party. The Hungarian government posted billboards warning newcomers to respect the country’s culture and laws. Many newcomers do not understand the signs because it is written in Hungarian, a language which linguistically is unlike most European languages.
A Hungarian graphic designer and satirist, Gergely Kovac commented, “The government says they don’t want immigrants here and they can’t take our jobs away. But the truth is that nobody wants to come here. Every immigrant would spend just three days here if we kept the borders open. There’s no need to hate them because they’re leaving as quickly as possible.”
Prime Minister Orban claimed that Hungarians “do not want a multicultural society”, which based on the country’s past with Jews and Romanian minorities is probably true. However, Orban who is more of a pragmatist, has drawn much support away from Jobbik over his tough anti-immigration stance. Furthermore, it should be noted that Germany which has a far larger population and economy than Hungary is reaching the tipping point over its lax immigration policies.
Soros said Hungary is avoiding its asylum obligations
Soros recently wrote an op-ed indicating that the European Union “failed to act collectively” on the Syrian refugee crisis. According to him, frontline states including Hungary are avoiding their obligations under the European asylum system.
He noted that the Refugee Convention, which was adopted in 1951, served as the moral and operation backbone of Europe for decades. Soros said the situation changed in May, when the European Commission proposed a comprehensive agenda, if approved, it would give Europeans a sense of control over migration flows in the region.
Soros noted that the parts of the comprehensive agenda that aims to save lives and create livelihoods for the refugees who do not have the capacity to go back home “came under attack.”
“Europe must make it possible for refugees to apply for asylum in safety. This does not mean offering protection to everyone in need. But those whom Europe does accept should not be forced to risk their lives. In practice, this would entail allowing people to apply for asylum from abroad.”
Soros is the founder Open Society Foundation (OSF), a charity network focused on supporting justice and human rights by working with local communities in more than 100 countries around the world.
In September, the OSF urged the Hungarian government to uphold international standards in dealing with the refugee crisis. The Foundation said, “We urge caution in the language used to debate the refugee crisis by public officers. The rhetoric of fear and repression may contribute to discriminatory and even violent attitudes towards refugees.”
Furthermore, the OSF emphasized, “The Hungarian crisis demonstrates the dangers radical populist regimes pose not only to the hundreds of thousands of refugees, but also to the values of Europe and to the humanity of the local populations.”