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Financial Times Elects George Soros ‘Person of the Year’

Ábrahám Vass 2018.12.19.

Prestigious British business newspaper Financial Times elected Hungarian-American billionaire businessman George Soros—the number one enemy in the Hungarian government’s communication campaigns—as ‘Person of the Year.’

In its explanatory statement, Financial Times writes that “the choice of Person of the Year is usually a reflection of their achievements. In the case of Soros this year, his selection is also about the values he represents (…) he is the standard bearer of liberal democracy and open society. These are the ideas which triumphed in the cold war. Today, they are under siege from all sides, from Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Donald Trump’s America. For more than three decades, Soros has used philanthropy to battle against authoritarianism, racism and intolerance. Through his long commitment to openness, media freedom and human rights, he has attracted the wrath of authoritarian regimes and, increasingly, the national populists who continue to gain ground, particularly in Europe.”

The newspaper notes that Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán, who has been “falsely accusing [Soros] of masterminding EU plans to flood the continent with migrants,” was a recipient of Soros’ scholarship program—something he has in common with several other government officials. Orbán has waged multiple campaigns against Soros in order to “call attention” to and “inform residents” of his alleged plan and obscure activities. Aside from a National Consultation, a number of controversial billboard campaigns have been launched around the country. In addition, the Soros-funded Central European University (CEU) was forced to relocate certain courses to Vienna due to a nonagreement with the Hungarian government regarding the new educational law, informally named “lex CEU.”

Financial Times also points out that Soros is described “as the only individual with a foreign policy” and mentions that Soros’ critics underline irreconcilable contradictions in his personality as “he made his fortune as a ruthless speculator, with little regard for the consequences of his mega bets, but gives it away with messianic zeal.” The paper states that the billionaire has never considered seeking elected office, adding that “those who know him agree he would not be good at it” as Soros is “impulsive and prone to abruptly changing his mind.” Soros supports a number of left-liberal-linked, pro-democracy human rights organizations across the world via his foundations. His critics see this as a direct attempt to influence politics without having been elected.

Each year, Financial Times nominates someone it believes had the biggest impact as “Person of the Year.” Former recipients include Lech Wałęsa, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and Donald Trump.

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