Soros on Merkel’s Handling of the European Union

Not one to remain silent when he has an informed opinion to share, billionaire investor, George Soros, recently spoke with the New York Review about his views of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her handling of the European Union, its future and the power the people of Germany may have to make it all better.

Soros has criticized Merkel’s governing style in the past, particularly in the case of austerity measures she put in place to handle the fallout that resulted from the Greek economic crisis, which did little to remedy issues of poverty in that country. Now, Soros’ critiques have to deal with Merkel’s handling of the migrant crisis across Europe.

This lapse in judgment comes at a dangerous time, Soros pointed out. Following Russia’s invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea, Merkel has been hounded with calls to rein in Russian President Vladimir Putin while they continue to fight alongside the tenuous coalition in Syria against ISIS. And it’s from that theater that migrants are fleeing from, but their numbers and the management of their influx is placing the EU’s ability to survive in question.

Soros isn’t eh only one to have called the future of the EU dubious. Merkel herself had stated that the migrant crises she’s currently dealing with could be bring about the end of the union. And while Soros saw Merkel as decisive and calculating when implementing austerity measures, something he did not agree with, to him, she seems with out a strategy to handle the current crises.

As the migrant crises progresses, Soros sees only one body of power that can actually affect change in the interest of the entire union, and that is the German people. Acting as the executive branch for the entirety of the European Union, Soros suggests that it’s the German people alone who have the ability to call into question their stake in this arrangement. They could force a vote or a referendum that would determine whether or not Germany’s chancellor would continue to be the executor of the union or allow another nation to take the risk in managing it.

The suggest seems sound on the surface, but consider that Merkel enjoyed a high approval by the German people for putting her nation’s interest at the forefront of her responsibilities. It is only recently that attitudes have changed as the migrant crisis has stirred xenophobic sentiments and violence. Removing her from power or forcing a vote may not be as simple as he thinks, and Soros owns up to that fact in the interview. A survivor of Nazi occupation, Soros recognizes that Merkel, who herself grew up in Soviet Occupied East Germany, is acting out of conscience in her acceptance of these migrants, something he agrees with, but her management, he suggests, places the entire union at risk.