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Refugee Crisis

Soros Sees the EU in Danger

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros has not been shy when it comes to voicing his opinions of the European Union on and the direction its leaders are taking it. In the recent history of increased refugee migration coming to Europe, George Soros sees the need for action to keep the EU from collapsing under the weight of this crisis.

George Soros penned an essay for the New York Review of Books, Soros pointed to the humanitarian crisis in Greece as the epicenter of Europe’s problems. George Soros’ cited the desperation of those seeking asylum, and the responsibility of member nations of the EU to consider the need these people have to live a life away from conflict. But in order for the EU to help the people who need it most, EU leaders on need to be willing to increase their spending beyond what little they’ve dedicated to this situation in recent years. It’s the only way to respond effectively to this crisis.

Since 2015, the war in the Middle East and Africa has pushed people to flee their home countries by the millions in search of safe haven in Europe. At present, deals have been solidified to keep illegal immigrants from moving further into Europe after arriving in Greece. If denied asylum, these refugees will be returned to Turkey. The exchange of these refugees will in turn allow refugees from Syria to take their place in Europe by being granted Asylum.

Soros estimated that 300,000 to 500,000 refugees would be an acceptable number that the EU can manage without being overwhelmed by demand to take people in. This will need to be matched with an budget of $34 billion to be applied each year in order to manage these operations.

And while this sum may appear large, George Soros points out that it can be managed if leaders in the EU realize that not managing this crisis will in the end cost them more to rectify when the burden refugees place on the 26 European states is felt in the near future. To help actually gather the money necessary for this fund, Soros points to the European Commission’s Multinational Financial Framework, a spending plan the EU drafts to manage their budget. Soros suggests that it be expanded to include the money necessary to address these crises.

In the short term, Soros says that even more money is needed. Through the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism and the Balance of Payments Assistance Facility, both in possession of $68 billion, could be dispersed to address this crisis. While this may be irregular, he was quick to point out that this is a moment of emergency, one where extremes needed to be exercised in order to keep the European Union from danger.

Having fled Hungary in 1947, George Soros built a life in the United States where he made a career in banking in his adopted New York, becoming one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Soros has been active in philanthropy since 1974. Through the Open Society Foundations, his personal organization, Soros has operated in over 100 countries, helping to reinforce human rights and pushing for government transparency.