George Soros – according to his website – founded The Open Society Foundations in 1979, but before that attended the London School of Economics and opened an international investment fund in the United States shortly after. Since founding The Open Society Foundations, he has given out up to $835 million a year as of 2011. He’s even written quite a few books, including his newest title The Tragedy of the European Union in 2014.
This newest book talks about a topic that Soros has spoken on FX Street about quite a bit recently. Everyone is aware that the Syrian migrant crisis is exactly that – a crisis. All are aware of what is going on with that issue. However, what they have failed to notice, according to an interview Soros gave on January 21, 2016, is that the migrant crisis is only one of four reasons the European Union is failing.
The other three reasons he gives are the Greek financial crisis, the possible exit of Britain from the EU’s markets, and how the EU is now treating Ukraine. These four issues combined are creating a toxic environment in the European Union, and the reasons these need to be addressed are quite dire.
The reasons Soros have given for addressing the financial issue in Greece are compelling. The debt in Greece is humongous. The country owes a lot to the European Union, and there’s hardly enough Euros to go around. The investments and rates are astronomical, and there’s hardly money for them to operate and pay debt. These current conditions will likely make the economic depression in Greece worse, Soros predicts.
The migrant crisis is the largest of the four reasons, Soros notes, that the European Union is failing. There’s no effective policy for taking up those seeking asylum. Since Syria is very close to the European Union, geographically speaking, it makes sense that they would take up migrants. Except they aren’t doing this. Instead, they have effectively closed their borders. Making and then extending a plan to deal with taking in those seeking asylum from the crisis in Syria, Soros adds, is going to be key in making sure the European Union doesn’t fall apart.
As for Britain’s possible exit from the European Union’s market – or the Brexit – could threaten political ties more than economical ties. Britain currently uses the pound, which has quite some punch against the euro, and has a low exchange rate for euros. This means that it takes fewer British pounds to have more euros. If Britain pulls away from the market in the European Union, they may lose their best place of export, and access to the open market that they currently have.
For the Ukraine crisis, the idea is to prevent the country from being in the same place as Greece is now. It would take a few years, of course, but it could be prevented now. Not only that, but Soros adds that Ukraine is the best bet to avoiding Russian aggression.