Back in 1989, Viktor Orban went to a university thanks to a grant organized by an institution of George Soros. One would thus naturally assume that Mr. Orban, now prime minister of Hungary, would remain forever in the latter’s debt.
Not so. Politically these two men have turned out very differently. Soros is known to be of leftwing thinking, almost socialist by European standards.
In September last year, Mr. Soros wrote a column which was published on an NGO website and has since become quite the ‘talk of the town’. Wanting to leave behind a legacy of good before the changes this world for the next (he is 87 years old) and knowing full well that if he didn’t make any grand gesture before, he was bound to be remembered as the man who broke the UK Pound, the Hungarian philanthropist stated that the European Union could reduce illegal migration by simply strengthening its external borders whilst committing to accept some 300,000 refugees per year.
In that hyped op-ed, he also stated that “The EU cannot coerce member states to accept refugees they do not want, or refugees to go where they are not wanted.”
And this, of course, is where Mr. Soros came to a crushing blow with Mr. Orban, the current prime minister of his home country Hungary. The latter is quite the conservative and nationalist and was one of the first leaders in the Balkans in 2015 and 2016 to install fences against the inflow of Muslim migrants heading towards Germany when Merkel famously invited them.
In a speech to religious leaders this week, Mr. Orban detailed the Soros plan to let (mostly Muslim) immigrants enter into the Balkans over the next few years: “It is an action plan that describes exactly how disobedient, non-immigrant central European countries should be transformed into immigrant countries.”
Given the enormous financial backing and thus influence Mr. Soros can wield at the European Union and thus indirectly over Hungary as well, Mr. Orban has decided to be one step ahead. He is calling for the organization of a referendum to stop the plan before it is presented to any European country.
The political leaders of Fidesz, the political party of Mr. Orban which has a majority in the Hungarian parliament, says Mr. Soros is aiming for an enlargement of the numbers presented last year. He now wants Europe to accept 1 million immigrants annually to meet the labor market needs (and at the same time bolster the vote of leftwing groups).
According to Mr. Orban, EU officials “eat from Soros’ hand”.
(And before anyone says this is another conspiracy theory, the source is today’s Financial Times my friends).