In an interview with the New York Review of Books for their February 2016 issue, Hungarian-born American business magnate and philanthropist George Soros claims the EU is now faced with several crises that threaten “the values and principles on which the European Union was founded.”
A Holocaust survivor and known advocate of open borders, Soros names the current threats as Greece´s continued economic instability, Russia´s annexing of the Crimea, the coming British referendum on Brexit, the migration crisis, the conflict in Syria and the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015, which he claims have taken their toll on European public opinion.
He also mentions opposition and resentment towards Angela Merkel´s vision for a borderless Europe from leaders of Poland and Hungary, Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Viktor Orban, accusing the latter, who closed the borders of Hungary, of being partly to blame for the flood of migrants to enter Europe “while the doors are still open.”
Member states who have acted purely in their own self-interests, he claims, have “precipitated panic among asylum seekers, the general public, and the authorities responsible for law and order.”
He describes Poland as “one of the most successful countries in Europe, both politically and economically,” but argues that the country´s current leadership are “hostile to the principles on which the European Union was founded” and accuses them of exploiting a powerful “mix of ethnic and religious nationalism.”
A strong opponent of Brexit, Soros revealed the reasoning behind his stance by saying that “An EU without the UK would be a much weaker union,” and also that Britain should remain in Europe for “economic but even more for political reasons.”