Well one thing you can give George Soros credit for – when it comes to politics you want to be on his side and not against him. Soros has a knack for really angering countries which goes back many decades. He recently angered China, which was well covered in the world-wide media, and now is back to one of his favorite targets Vladimir Putin and Russia (where people are so angry they are burning his books). While we are no fans of Putin it is comical to see how he praises Erdogan but attacks Putin in such a blatantly unbiased way (then again this is an op-ed – but one wonders why).We think the title “George Soros: EU is set to disintegrate, And The Only Way Russia Can Survive Is Ensuring That Happens Quickly” is basically what George Soros is saying. Anyway, below is an excerpt from George Soros’ latest op-ed.
The Putin regime faces bankruptcy in 2017, when a large part of its foreign debt matures, and political turmoil may erupt sooner than that. Putin’s popularity, which remains high, rests on a social compact requiring the government to deliver financial stability and a slowly but steadily rising standard of living. Western sanctions, coupled with the sharp decline in the price of oil, will force the regime to fail on both counts. Russia’s budget deficit is running at 7% of GDP, and the government will have to cut it to 3% in order to prevent inflation from spiraling out of control. Russia’s social security fund is running out of money and has to be merged with the government’s infrastructure fund in order to be replenished. These and other developments will have a negative effect on living standards and opinions of the electorate before the parliamentary election in the fall. The most effective way that Putin’s regime can avoid collapse is by causing the EU to collapse sooner. An EU that is coming apart at the seams will not be able to maintain the sanctions it imposed on Russia following its incursion into Ukraine. On the contrary, Putin will be able to gain considerable economic benefits from dividing Europe and exploiting the connections with commercial interests and anti-European parties that he has carefully cultivated. As matters stand, the EU is set to disintegrate. Ever since the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent rescue packages for Greece, the EU has learned how to muddle through one crisis after another. But today it is confronted by five or six crises at the same time, which may prove to be too much. As Merkel correctly foresaw, the migration crisis has the potential to destroy the EU. When a state or association of states is in mortal danger, it is better for its leaders to confront harsh reality than to ignore it. The race for survival pits the EU against Putin’s Russia. ISIS poses a threat to both, but it should not be over-estimated. Attacks mounted by jihadi terrorists, however terrifying, do not compare with the threat emanating from Russia.
ISIS (and Al Qaeda before it) has recognized the Achilles’ heel of Western civilization – the fear of death – and learned how to exploit it. By arousing latent Islamophobia in the West and inducing both publics and governments to treat Muslims with suspicion, they hope to convince young Muslims that there is no alternative to terrorism. Once this strategy is understood, there is a simple antidote: Refuse to behave the way your enemies want you to. The threat emanating from Putin’s Russia will be difficult to counter. Failure to recognize it will make the task even more difficult.
Full piece from George Soros here