Billionaire George Soros believes Europe is in trouble and faces danger from “many enemies, both inside and outside.” He made the remarks in an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica, which was picked up in part by Zero Hedge.
George Soros: Europe is in danger
In the interview, George Soros said Europe faces imminent demise unless the European Union follows his plan. He said the current crisis is the worst in his lifetime since World War II. He describes the situation as "a revolutionary moment when the range of possibilities is much greater than in normal times."
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"What is inconceivable in normal times becomes not only possible but actually happens," He said. "People are disoriented and scared. They do things that are bad for them and for the world."
He believes the EU is vulnerable, even more so than the U.S. "because it is an incomplete union" with "many enemies, both inside and outside." The interviewer asked George Soros who Europe's inside enemies are, and he said many leaders and movements are "opposed to the values upon which the European Union was founded."
Warning about European leaders
Specifically, he mentioned Hungary's Viktor Orban and Poland's Jaroslaw Kaczynski. He added that Poland and Hungary receive the largest part of the structural fund distributed by the EU. Despite his concerns about their leaders, he is even more worried about Itally.
He described Italian leader Matteo Salvini as "anti-European" and said his popularity was gaining ground until he overestimated his success and broke up the government, leading to a decline in his popularity. Salvini was replaced by Giorgia Meloni, who is even more of an extremist. Soros said Italy's government coalition is "extremely weak."
He believes Italy's government is only being held together to avoid an election "in which the anti-European forces would win." He added that Italy was once "the most enthusiastic supporter of Europe" because people trusted the EU more than their own governments.
However, he said research on public opinion shows that the supporters of Europe are shrinking while support for remaining a member of the EU is falling. Italy is one of the biggest members of the coalition, and Soros believes it is "too important for Europe." He added that he can't imagine the EU without Italy and that the big question now is whether the EU will be able to provide Italy enough support.
George Soros talks about Europe's recovery fund
The interviewer pointed out that the EU approved a €750 billion recovery fund, and Soros called that "a very important positive step forward." The coalition committed to borrowing from the market on a bigger scale than ever before.
However, Soros said the "Frugal Five," which are Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden "managed to make the actual agreement less effective." He said the countries "basically pro-European," but also "very selfish."
He called the deal they agreed to "inadequate," especially the pullback on plans to deal with climate change and defense. He also noted that the countries want to make sure the money is well spent, which "creates problems for the southern states that were the hardest hit by the virus."
Enemies outside the EU
When asked about the enemies that are outside of Europe, George Soros called them "numerous," adding that they are all "opposed to the idea of an open society." He supports the EU because he feels it embodies the open society on a European scale.
He said Russia used to be the biggest enemy to an open society, but China has overtaken it. He added that former U.S. President Richard Nixon understood that supporting China and opening it up would weaken Communism, including in the Soviet Union.
However, today China is a leader in artificial intelligence, which he said "produces instruments of control that are helpful for a closed society." He also said such tools are a "mortal danger for an open society" because they tilt the table toward closed societies.
"Today's China is a much bigger threat to open societies than Russia," Soros said. "And in the U.S., there is a bipartisan consensus that has declared China a strategic rival."