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But first, a lot of necessary disclaimers!
I have nothing but admiration for Bucharest Life. They are hands down the best source for English-language news and fun+useful information about Romania. If I ever get a phone call from a lawyer informing me that a long-lost uncle has given his entire fortune to me, I’d love to set up a site as informative as BL.
Secondly, it’s well known and extremely well documented that I have zero sympathy or affiliation with the PSD party of Romania. I’ve written dozens of articles that document the stupidity, mendacity, and corruption of the PSD dimwits who have been running Romania for many years.
Okay, now that we’ve got all that cleared up, on to the article!
Soros: Friend or Foe?
Turp is upset that the PSD wants to ban a number of NGOs, particularly those associated with George Soros. After quoting Liviu Dragnea saying that “Soros finances evil and has never done anything good for this country,” this is Turp’s reply:
The evidence suggests otherwise. As we have asked on a number of occasions, can any of those lunatics who blame Soros for everything that goes wrong in Romania actually point to one thing he has done to the detriment of this country? No, they can’t. In fact, by offering thousands of young people the chance to study abroad – among much else – Soros has done far more for Romania than just about every Romanian who curses the day he was born. How many scholarships to elite universities has the PSD offered underprivileged Romanians?
In English, we say even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And this is one of those rare times when the PSD is completely right, although I highly doubt it is for principled reasons.
Has Soros financed evil in Romania? Well, let’s start with two of Romania’s neighbors.
Ukraine and Moldova
Thanks to a leak, thousands of emails from Soros and his foundations have been put online. I read through a few of the most egregious documents and wrote a lengthy article about how there is fairly conclusive proof that Soros was not only putting his own people in positions of power in the Republic of Moldova but actively and knowingly breaking the law by paying them enormous sums of money. Not only that, but the way that Soros’s foundation illegally paid these men was by funneling it through a non-Soros NGO.
So yeah, there’s pretty hard proof that Soros committed crimes in what is a democratic country (however tenuously) by using his NGOs to illegally funnel money through an independent NGO in order to supposedly “promote democracy”.
And that’s just what he and his foundations have been caught doing, so for all we know, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Furthermore, I also documented Soros’s insanely paranoid beliefs in 2014 wherein he made the ludicrous belief that Russian troops were poised to invade Moldova by the end of that year. Honestly, a young child using Google Maps could’ve debunked that claim, yet Soros’s crazy ramblings were published in the New York Times and widely circulated in the mainstream media.
As for Ukraine, I’ve never written an article about Soros and that country as the issue has nothing (directly) to do with Romania, but, in a different leak, some pretty damning emails and reports were leaked that show Soros actively directing the affairs of the Ukrainian government.
Probably the most egregious bit is where he offers to put pressure on the American government in order to float 15 billion dollars to the Ukrainian government if they follow his (Soros’s) advice on how to run their country.
It’s important to note that neither of these leaks have been officially “confirmed” (whatever that means). But Soros and his foundations have never denied that the leaked documents were genuine.
As the old firefighter said, “Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.” And I haven’t even mentioned all of the accusations out of Hungary that Soros has been up to the same kind of behavior there as well.
Soros and Romania
There’s nothing that specifically implicates Soros in any “evil financing” in Romania, so we’ll have to look a little closer at what he’s been up to in the country since 1990.
There’s no disputing that Soros has been funding a lot of different NGOs in Romania over the past 27 years. Some are of the type that everybody knows about, like the Foundation for an Open Society, but others are more specific in scope, including the Princess Margaret (of Romania) Fund, academic societies, environmental groups, courses about law and jurisprudence, journalism, and political leadership projects.
Some of the graduates of all of these programs have held (and still hold) incredibly influential positions in the government and civil society, including a key adviser to two different presidents, Sandra Pralong. As Turp said, yeah, Soros’s foundations do pay for a lot of people to study (abroad AND domestically). Maybe it’s completely normal that a few of them went on to hold influential positions in the Romanian government, think-tanks, other NGOs, etc.
Well, yes, maybe it is.
So let’s take a closer look at exactly what Soros has been funding in Romania over the years.
Der Be Gold In Dem Dar Hills
Soros has funded a number of environmental groups, including “Save the Danube River and Delta”. Perhaps Soros is doing this simply because he loves the planet, right? Well, maybe.
Soros also gave a lot of funding to Alburnus Maior, famous to most people because they were the original defenders of Rosia Montana. As I documented in great detail, the whole story of Rosia Montana is a weird and twisted one, starting out as an “organic” local protest and then blossoming into a cause celebre while almost identical gold mining projects, some just a few miles away, are ignored by everyone in Romania except the 20 Hungarians who run the Romanian chapter of Greenpeace.
What makes Soros’s involvement in this “environmental” cause so suspicious is that he has substantial investments in competing gold mines. Long story short, if Rosia Montana never comes online, there’s less gold out there in the market and thus is more scarce (and valuable to own).
Note: Soros at one point owned shares in Newmont Mining, which owned shares of Gabriel Resources (the company that wanted to exploit Rosia Montana) but this was long before they acquired the rights to mine at Rosia Montana.
Soros has a great love for the gypsy people, something that’s never really been investigated by journalists. The last two times that Soros physically set foot in Romania, it was to meet with the gypsies and oversee his Roma Foundation.
BTW, the Asian gentleman in the photo above is Jim Kim, president of the World Bank, who accompanied Soros to Romania.
So why does Soros care for the gypsies of Romania? Is it because he has a loving heart and wants to genuinely help the most underprivileged people in the country?
Uh, no. You can read this bizarre op-ed written by Soros personally in 2013 where he expresses his desire for gypsies to flood the labor market in Europe. Not only is this patently ridiculous, but you can see how it would handsomely profit the many corporations and business interests that Soros owns.
Remember what Turp said?
How many scholarships to elite universities has the PSD offered underprivileged Romanians?
As much as I hate to admit it, the PSD has given a ton of scholarships to underprivileged Romanians. It’s not like they did it out of love for the kids of Romania, but they did do it. That’s because they’ve been the government for years and the government of Romania includes the Ministry of Education.
Uh, one of the really good things that still exists in Romania is that citizens can go to university absolutely free. Yep, even “underprivileged” ones. If you can pass the baccalaureate and do a few other things to demonstrate academic achievement, you get to go to university for free in Romania. And there are some truly world-class schools of higher learning in Romania, including Babes-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca (where, among other things, they invented artificial blood).
But wait, I know what you’re going to say. Soros sends his people to elite foreign universities and the PSD doesn’t do that.
Well, yep, actually they do. That’s because Romania is a member of the EU and thus an active participant in the Erasmus Program. Untold numbers of “underprivileged” Romanian students have attended elite foreign universities completely for free. Hell, I even knew one girl who went to the Sorbonne.
So that’s that that settled.
Soros the Man
If I told you that there was a guy who, during World War 2, actively collaborated with the fascist government of Hungary to rob Jewish people of their property, including their homes, what would you think of that person?
Well, that’s exactly what Soros did, but it’s all somehow excused because he’s Jewish. And, instead of describing it as an awful thing that he was forced to do in order to survive, he told Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes that it was the best time of his life.
Soros later became fabulously wealthy, partly by singlehandedly crushing the economies of countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Britain simply because manipulating their currencies made him money. Nobody knows how many millions of people suffered because of all of these acts.
But even if you presuppose that Soros has, perhaps in the last few years, had a divine revelation and is now a genuine saint, there is something deeply disturbing about a single individual actively influencing the domestic affairs of several countries. I’m not sure that even a legit “Saint” Soros spending hundreds of millions of dollars to train political and social leaders is a good thing. It’s simply too much power in the hands of a single individual.
Let’s put it this way – if I had billions of dollars, I would be opposed to me myself being so influential in Romania. It’s up to the people of Romania collectively to determine their fate, not me!
That’s what democracy means, you know. It’s the people of the country who decide what kind of life (and laws) they want to have. It’s a deeply flawed system, but it works a whole lot when a foreign powerbroker isn’t spending hundreds of millions of dollars to decide what’s best for Romanians.
- Craig Turp and Bucharest Life are great, I just vehemently disagree with them on this issue.
- The PSD are douchebags but they still must be given credit for providing higher education at world-class universities for free, even to “underprivileged” Romanians.
- Yes, the PSD wants to shut down a number of NGOs for corrupt political reasons. But the PSD is right that Soros’s NGOs have an unhealthy influence in Romania.
- No conspiracies theories are needed to find evidence that Soros is a deeply troubled man responsible for some deeply troubling acts.
AND NOW YOU KNOW!