From a discussion of the Dutch political system being in the pocket of Big Oil to warning that German policy stipulations and the Euro itself could "potentially destroy the European Union," amid rebellion, George Soros has drastically reduced all Euro-related exposure from his portfolio - only a few weeks after his cautious optimism that Europe is 'revived' in Davos. As Open Europe blog notes, Soros fears that "there is a real danger that the [Euro] solution to the financial problem creates a really profound political problem." The interview below with Dutch TV shows Soros grave concerns that the Southern nations are "being pushed unwittingly... into a long lasting depression," as Germany's austerity program is "counter-productive - cannot actually succeed." Just as we recently noted the similarities between the European Union and the Soviet Union, so Soros believes the 'Euro' itself is "bound to break up the European Union." It may take generations, he notes, as a terrible tragedy of "lost political freedom and economic prosperity."
From Davos - two weeks ago...optimism that the banking system had been revived but even then he was concerned...
...the european banking system, the interbank market, has revived so there's a general sense of let's say almost euphoria that the crisis is over. I think that is somewhat premature. because the fundamental internal inconsistencies in the dis-tim have not been addressed, and actually, therefore, you face political dangers.
The Euro is transforming the European Union into something very different from the original conception which was a voluntary association of equal states, and instead of that, the financial created a two-class system where the euro, the creditors and debtors and the creditors are in charge. The political situation I think is going to get worse.
Now, not so optimistic anymore - begins around 23 minutes in...(initially discussing corrpution then on to European stresses at around 28 minutes)
Via Open Europe blog,
...prominent investor George Soros has warned that,
"I am terribly concerned about the euro potentially destroying the EU. There is a real danger that the solution to the financial problem creates a really profound political problem."
Asked what kind of change is needed, he said,
"Germany needs to realise that the policy it impose on the euroarea - the austerity programme - is counter-productive. It cannot actually succeed. At the moment they [the South] is being pushed - unwittingly, not with bad intentions, but the effect is that they are being pushed into a long lasting depression and that is what is happening to Europe. And it may last more than a decade, in fact it could become permanent, until the pain is so big that eventually there may be a rebellion, a rejection of the EU, and that would then be the destruction of the EU, which is a terribly heavy price to maintain to preserve the euro, which is meant to be just a servant of the EU."
On whether the euro will survive, he said,
"It could last quite a long time, the same way as the Soviet Union, which was a very bad arrangement, lasted for 70 years. However, I think that eventually, it is bound to break up the European Union. The longer it will take, and it may take generations, those will be lost in terms of political freedom and economic prosperity. The solution is to me a terrible tragedy for the EU. And it's happening to the most developed open society in the world. To me it's a terrible tragedy. It doesn't have villains, because I don't think that Germany is doing it with bad intentions but its happening out of a lack of understanding of very complex problems."