Who is George Soros and why is Fico’s mention of him a problem?

Fico uses the language of Orbán and Trump.

(Source: Sme)

“I have also had a short discussion about the Roma issues with businessman and philanthropist George Soros,” President Andrej Kiska wrote on his official Facebook profile on September 25, 2017, summarising his trip to the US. “He initiated the meeting based on last week’s headline in the New York Times on the success story of the Roma in Spišský Hrhov. His foundation has been dealing with the Roma issue for years.”

Even though Soros is just one of about a dozen people Kiska mentioned in that post from last September, many of the comments focused on the part regarding their meeting. That in itself is little surprising, since George Soros is well known to be a target of various conspiracy theories and fake news widely spread by “alternative” websites.

More surprising, however, was the decision of Prime Minister Robert Fico in alluding to the meeting of Kiska and Soros half a year later, amid the biggest crisis he and his government have ever seen in this country.

Read also:Murder of journalist: A short guide to the current political situation in Slovakia Read more 

President Andrej Kiska should explain to the public why he visited the private house of George Soros in New York last September, Fico stated during his delayed briefing on March 5, labelling Soros “a dangerous man”.

Fico talks conspiracy

Fico’s question came on the heels of his statement from the day before, when he attacked President Andrej Kiska by saying that his speech (in which the president called for major reshuffles in the government or early elections) was “not written in Slovakia” and that Kiska is acting for the benefit of foreign forces rather than in the interest of Slovakia.

Such vocabulary is common among conspiracy theorists and texts on propaganda and fake news websites rather the political mainstream. In the past couple of years, since a far right party entered the parliament with more than 8 percent of the vote in the 2016 parliamentary election, experts have been warning that spreading conspiracy theories like those about Soros is linked with the support for extremist movements in the country.

The following day, prominent politicians of Smer stood behind Fico for bringing up Soros.

Who is Soros?

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