George Soros is not a fan of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. He does not like her austerity policies and, for the most part, has seen her as a politician and nothing more. But the 85-year-old billionaire has changed his tune about the Chancellor all because she stood up to Vladimir Putin when Russia showed aggression to the Ukraine. By default, he says, she has become the leader of the free world. And he believes that the European Union needs a strong leader right now in the face of the terror attacks in Paris and the immigrant crisis coming from Syria.
George Soros sees the surge of immigrants as a threat to the Shengen agreement, the conjoined economies of Europe and the European Union as a whole. The effects of the Paris attacks, he says, have been catastrophic on public opinion. Less and less Europeans want to take in Syrian refugees for fear of another terrorist attack, and these European citizens may have caused to be alarmed due to the Shengen agreement.
The Shengen agreement essentially turns the entire European continent into one giant country without borders. Once inside the European Union, anyone is free to travel with very little oversight or security. The fear is that terrorist threats will get inside the European Union and security forces will have very few counterterrorism measures at their disposal, leaving citizens vulnerable. This fear could lead to the dissolution of the agreement and the breakdown of the European Union.
But Soros agrees with the Finnish financial minister who does not believe that the immigrants pose a terrorist threat and laments the fact that European citizens are afraid. Soros has a soft spot for this crisis because he himself was an immigrant who successfully escaped Nazi rule shortly after World War II.
Although Soros says on NY Books that being an immigrant after World War II was different than today. There was no fear of terrorism, just a lingering anti-Semitism. Despite his hardships he managed to graduate from the London school of economics and he turned his education into success in the business world. He believes there are more success stories out there and that they need a chance. But he also knows that a massive influx of jobless immigrants could have devastating effects on Europe’s economy. So the powerful billionaires calling on the new leader of the free world Angela Merkel.
He likes what she’s done so far — allowing almost 1 million immigrants into German and trying to change the tide of public perception — but he thinks she needs to do more in order to save the union. There is a lot of work ahead of her and that’s why Soros beers for the integrity of the European Union and the Shengen agreement.