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Soros writes: "The euro crisis is now threatening to turn the European Union into something fundamentally different."

Soros: 'The euro crisis is now threatening to turn the European Union into something fundamentally different.' (photo: unknown)
Soros: 'The euro crisis is now threatening to turn the European Union into something fundamentally different.' (photo: unknown)


Europe: It's Creditors vs. Debtors

By George Soros, Reader Supported News

30 November 12

 

 

he European Union used to be what psychologists call a "fantastic object," a desirable goal that fires people's imagination. I saw it as the embodiment of an open society -- an association of nations which gave up part of their sovereignty for the common good and formed a union in which no nation would have a dominant position.

The euro crisis is now threatening to turn the European Union into something fundamentally different. The member countries are divided into two classes -- creditors and debtors -- with the creditors in charge. Germany, as the largest and most creditworthy country, occupies a dominant position. As a result of current policies, debtor countries pay substantial risk premiums for financing their debt and this is reflected in their cost of financing in general. This has pushed the debtor countries into depression and put them at a substantial competitive disadvantage that threatens to become permanent.

This is the result not of a deliberate plan but of a series of policy mistakes. Germany did not seek to occupy a dominant position and is reluctant to accept the obligations and liabilities that it entails. I have called this the tragedy of the European Union.

Now, some recent developments give grounds for hope. The authorities are taking steps to correct their mistakes. I have in mind the June summit's decision to form a banking union, and the EU Central Bank's plan for unlimited intervention in government bond markets. Financial markets have been reassured that the euro is here to stay. This could be a turning point if it were reinforced by additional positive steps. Unfortunately, it has merely reinforced German resistance to further concessions.

A distinguishing feature of the tragedy I am talking about is that it feeds on hope. Germany is willing to do the minimum but nothing more to hold the euro together. That is how the eurozone becomes permanently divided between creditors and debtors.

This is such a dismal prospect that it must not be allowed to become reality. There must be a way to avoid it -- after all, history is not predetermined. When the European Union was only an idea, a fantastic object, it was conceived as an instrument of solidarity. Today, Europe hangs together out of grim necessity. That is not conducive to a harmonious partnership. The only way to reverse this seemingly inexorable fate is to recapture the spirit of solidarity.

Since I am a fervent believer in the European Union as the embodiment of an open society, I have set up an Open Society Initiative for Europe -- OSIFE for short -- and I have been looking for ways to achieve this goal.

I realized that the best place to start would be where current policies have created the greatest human suffering. Clearly, that place is Greece. Within Greece, the fate of the many migrants and asylum seekers stuck there particularly resonated with me. Clearly, their plight cannot be separated from that of the Greeks themselves. An initiative confined to migrants would reinforce the hostility they face from some in the majority.

The problem seemed intractable, and I couldn't figure out how to approach it. But I was in Stockholm recently to commemorate the centenary of Raoul Wallenberg's birth. This reawakened my memories of the Second World War -- the calamity that eventually gave birth to the European Union.

Wallenberg was a heroic figure who saved the lives of many Jews by establishing Swedish protected houses in Budapest. During the German occupation of Hungary, my father was also a heroic figure. He helped to save his family and friends and others. He taught me to confront harsh reality rather than to passively submit to it.

That is what gave me the idea. We could set up solidarity houses in Greece which could serve as community centers for the local population where migrants could also find food and shelter. There are already many efforts under way, and civil society is already heavily engaged, but the scale of the problem is overwhelming. I am talking about reinforcing existing efforts.

The asylum policy of the European Union has broken down. Refugees have to apply in the country where they enter the EU, but the Greek government cannot process the cases, and some 60,000 refugees who sought to register have been put into detention camps where conditions are inhumane. Migrants who avoid registering and live in the streets are attacked by the hooligans of the Golden Dawn.

Norway has expressed an interest in the fate of refugees in Greece and within the European Union. Sweden has made migration and asylum policy a priority. So Norway and Sweden are the primary candidates for supporting solidarity houses. Hopefully they would be joined by Germany and other member countries.

Currently, the Golden Dawn is providing social services to Greeks while attacking the migrants. The initiative I propose would offer a positive alternative. It would be based on solidarity -- solidarity of Europeans with Greeks and Greeks with migrants. This would be a powerful demonstration of the spirit of solidarity that ought to infuse the European Union.

 

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+6 # Human Right 2012-11-30 22:11
I'm not convinced that giving asylum to thousands of refugees will save the EU. I think the people who have created the refugee problem, namely Israel and its puppet USA should be working with the refugees, however Israel is an aparthed state and refuses any of them.
 
 
+4 # Activista 2012-11-30 23:34
I was a refugee - they need food and shelter - instead get beating and death by EU street mobs (Mexicans in the USA suffer similar problem).
Most of the African refugees found asylum in Libya. For them autocrat Qaddafi was a symbol of Open Society.
Racism in EU (Czech Republic)is a big problem - this is where the USA is much more open, liberal.
 
 
+19 # Activista 2012-11-30 22:55
Soros is one of the last great humanists. When I escaped Iron Curtain I had to spend time in Refugee Camp in Austria - at this time the Austria was not exactly "open society" country. Then I came to USA - after 1968 - jobs everywhere - friendly people "open society".
Now when I see what USA is doing on the Southern Border (Mexico) sickens me. All the problems are blamed on migrants.
THANK YOU FOR PUBLISHING SOROS.
 
 
-2 # RMDC 2012-12-02 05:47
Sorry to disagree with you Activista about Soros, but he is a fraud. He's not a humanitarian but rather a looter of nations. He's found the perfect con game -- promote an idea of Open Society while at the same time robbing nations by means of currency speculation. He's a rabid anti-communist. His world view comes from the Austro-Hungaria n empire from before WW I. this was the hot bed out of which the fascist movements of the middle 20th century grew. He represents one wing of the neo-con movement (the other wing is Leo Strauss) which while fascist to the core rejected Hitler and its style. I know it is oxymoronic but both Soros and Strauss are what might be called liberal fascists. These are the people who bring us humanitarian wars -- though Soros does it by financial manipulations.

The Iron Curtin was a fanasy of the West -- Churchill in particular. It is a propaganda term, designed to make Western Europeans and Americans stupid. If you lived in the CCCP you got better education and healthcare and a lot more than most americans got.

Liberals have been sucked in by Soros and his open society. If you look closely, you'll see he has financed most of the "color revolutions" in the former communist states and the new governments always enact economic policies that profit Soros. His Open Society is an investment. Soros also has close ties to the CIA.
 
 
-1 # Mannstein 2012-12-02 08:27
Bottom line is the Communists are responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century. 65 million victims alone in the workers paradise the USSR. All is documented in great detail by Stephane Courtois et al in his work "The Black Book of Communism". Courtois is himself a French communist. If you really want to get a clear picture of life in the USSR I suggest you read the Gulag Argipelago written by a man who had first hand experience living in that system who was a prisoner for 10 years in the Gulag. You might have received health care and good education but only if you were a member of the Nomenclatura, otherwise you were lucky to have a job as a street cleaner.
Incidentally, did you ever travel to Russia prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall? I did and what you are describing is not reality. Have you had relatives who lived behind the Iron Curtain? I have and they paint a completely different picture from what you claim.
 
 
0 # Activista 2012-12-02 11:28
I read Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn as
a samizdat. I escaped communism. I lived behind the Iron Curtain, behind wires - killing zone on the border.
 
 
-4 # Mannstein 2012-12-01 00:09
In the city of Feudenstadt Germany Asylum seekers took to the streets demonstrating against the locals. They have been receiving food packages on a daily basis but that wasn't good enough. They are demanding money instead claiming that receiving food from a food bank is against human rights. Check it out:

http://www.jungefreiheit.de/Single-News-Display-mit-Komm.154+M500de2affc5.0.html

If that isn't a way to make friends with the locals who are paying the freight I don't know what is.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2012-12-01 09:56
The media are creating problem where there is NONE. Germany is not very famous how it treats/treated Fremdarbeiters.
The implicit racism still there. I do not think that majority of African refugees go to Germany. Compare to Scandinavians countries - Norway, Sweden.
 
 
0 # Mannstein 2012-12-01 17:02
Your children haven't attended a German school lately. The local kids have to pay protection money to the Turkish kids so as not to get beaten up on their way home from school. Germans I know have no problems with foreigners if they integrate into German society which the second generation of Turks refuse to do.
 
 
+1 # Mannstein 2012-12-01 17:08
You obviously haven't been to Germany recently. Inner cities now have no go areas where the locals can't tread if they value their lives, something that was unheard of a few years ago. If there is a homocide in such localities the police might not even show up. If they do it's usually an hour after the fact. Been there saw it with my own eyes. Wonder how you would react living in such circumstances?
 
 
0 # Mannstein 2012-12-01 17:15
Incidentally, Paragraph #130 of the German Criminal Code makes racism a crime punishable with a 5 year prison term and or a steep fine. The deed can be something as little as uttering a racial slur or making an ethnic joke. So should you travel to Germany be careful what you say. This inspite of the fact that Germany claims to have free expression guaranteed in their constitution.
 
 
+1 # Mannstein 2012-12-02 08:33
Germans pay for health insurance for the relatives of Turkish guest workers even though these relatives live in Turkey. Don't see that happening in the US which claims to welcome foreigners with open arms. You obviously know zip about German society.
 
 
+9 # Mannstein 2012-12-01 00:29
Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government cook the books so that it could enter the EU. Naturally Goldman was well rewarde for its criminal services. Wonder why folks find Banksters have much in common with the Mafia?
 
 
+9 # Tigre1 2012-12-01 01:34
Go for it, Soros. You continue to behave publicly as I believe a person of great private influence...and wealth...should behave.

Thanks you. My means are slender, yet I will help you if and when given the opportunity, because it is the right thing to do...
 
 
-8 # pamelawy 2012-12-01 06:14
Note to author: Please, if you want your article to be taken seriously, maybe you need to learn some very basic grammar for your headline. Please learn the difference between "its" and "it's" Very simply, "it's" is a contraction of "it is", therefore your title should read "Its Creditors...."
 
 
+7 # RHytonen 2012-12-01 07:56
Why would you think they didn't intend to say "It is?"
 
 
0 # pbbrodie 2012-12-01 08:27
Well, in fact, "It is" makes way more sense than "Its." I believe it's YOU who has made the error.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2012-12-01 13:24
Soros is immigrant from Hungary - knows likely Hungarian, German, English .. and more. Soros deals with complex issues ..
Compared Bush policies to NAZI policies .. learn more about him - he is a complex man
 
 
-1 # Mannstein 2012-12-01 18:15
Ah yes George Soros the complex man who was convicted for insider trading by the French. Sounds like he fits right in with the complex men who run the Bank mafia.
 
 
+3 # Roger Kotila 2012-12-01 12:23
Mr. Soros has the right moral idea regarding treating refugees in a better way. But he is treating symptoms, not the cause. And saving the European Union will help prevent future wars between those nations.

But the bigger picture calls for a new global governing system to replace the outdated geopolitical system which is the cause of the refugee problem in the first place.

At the global level, the world's present governing system favors the most powerful and is unable to cope with those sociopath's who possess Big Money or run Bully nations. The United Nations is handicapped by an aging and flawed Charter. Advanced progressive are looking toward the Earth Federation Movement with its Earth Constitution for a solution. Designed to return power to "we, the people," the goal must be to establish a democratic federal world union. This is a hard truth that world federalists like Einstein realized, but which modern Establishment progressives have been slow to acknowledge.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2012-12-01 23:08
Soros most brilliant deed - after CCCP collapse due to militarism/war in Afghanistan - Russia Nuclear Experts were on global market ... but:
" ..when the Soviet Union collapsed, to provide decent salaries for the hundreds and hundreds of Soviet nuclear engineers were suddenly found themselves unemployed. Soros saw that these folks would be easily tempted to work on nuclear bomb projects in many countries so he simply guaranteed their financial well-being first, then began looking around for constructive work for them to do. Then he built a new university, the Central European University in Budapest, and another smaller one in Sofia (which was our host). He has started a major initiative to provide free access to scientific and academic journals to all the people of the world, provided airlifts of medical supplies to Sarajevo when the US and WesternEurope turned its back, and build 300,000 houses for blacks in South Africa. Meanwhile, his new book on globalization has had excellent reviews—high on my reading list, now. If there is a serious downside to George Soros, it is not easy to find. The world could do with a few more like him."
www.edge.org/documents/postcards/dennett_postcard.html
 
 
-2 # RMDC 2012-12-02 06:46
If you want to see the nation that Soros created look at Georgia. It is a gangster run nation. It may be the most corrupt place on earth. Terrorists from Georgia move into Russia (Chechnya, Ossetia) all the time.

Soros has found a way to look humanitarian all the while creating trojan horses from which to loot whole nations. Take a look at what he did to Thailand in the late 90s.
 
 
0 # hammermann 2012-12-02 18:38
"It is" is more likely but could be "Its" (possessive) too, if he's referring to Chermany. Liked the RW digs at Soros- a great man who has run a one-man foreign aid program bigger than US gov to some countries. Yes he's a successful stock hustler and has probably done Bankster (whom I hate) manipulations. BUT!!!!! He is a deep liberal, confirmed Democrat + democrat who has bankrolled the forces of light against those of darkness, and our only billionaire. I doubt his prescriptions here, but wish him every success.

On an entirely another PolitIncorect note, some immigrants are out of control- I've had some dirtbag who looked like Prince wave a big knife at me in broad daylight by Berlin train sta.(German police just laughed);been followed + almost robbed by Russian convict in Paris, and attacked and mugged by 3 Algerians? in Montreal,who decided to forcibly move in on a girl. France is now 20% Muslim after generations of open borders,and is paying the price (though they don't get jobs and live in middleclass ghettos). Unlike America, where police are a ubiquitous menace, they are invisible in Europe (10-20x rarer). Even in USA, girls in New Mexico say groups of Hispanics will whistle and chant obscenities.

All anti-immigrant feelings aren't due to racism. All the 3rd world wants to come to the 1st,understanda bly, but they cant.That said, most Germans do still think they are the master race, deny their 3rd gen guest worker/slave Turks citizenship-no wonder they are mad.
 
 
0 # Mannstein 2012-12-02 23:21
"worker/slave Turks" What is that supposed to mean?

By my definition a slave is someone forced to do work without pay. Turks are free to leave if they percieve themselves to be slaves. As a matter of fact some Germans would be more than happy to provide them a free one way airline ticket back to Ankara. Incidentally, a guest worker is by definition a temporary worker. Problem is when the workers' contracts run out they prefer living in Germany to Turkey and the German politicians do not enforce the law.

"most Germans do still think they are the master race"

To the contrary, having lived in Germany and visiting often today's Germans suffer from a national masochism sickness hardly the condition of a people that considers itself a master race.
 

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