Parts of the following interview with George Soros by the Spiegel correspondent Gregor Peter Schmitz appear in their book, The Tragedy of the European Union: Disintegration or Revival?, just published by PublicAffairs.
Gregor Peter Schmitz: The conflict in Crimea and Ukraine has changed the shape of European and world politics, and we will come to it.
There is an important debate under way about the future of Europe and Britain’s place in the EU. I bring a pro-European bias to this debate. I am a great believer in the Union as it was originally conceived. This is a function of my personal history and of the philosophy I developed based on my life experience.
Following a crescendo of terrifying violence, the Ukrainian uprising has had a surprisingly positive outcome. Contrary to all rational expectations, a group of citizens armed with not much more than sticks and shields made of cardboard boxes and metal garbage-can lids overwhelmed a police force firing live ammunition.
NEW YORK – As 2013 comes to a close, efforts to revive growth in the world’s most influential economies – with the exception of the eurozone – are having a beneficial effect worldwide. All of the looming problems for the global economy are political in character.
BUDAPEST – Across Europe, millions are suffering from unemployment and the prospect of a long period of economic stagnation. But no group has been harder hit than the Roma.
There are more than ten million Roma living in Europe, mostly concentrated in the Balkans and in the European Union’s newest member states, especially Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Hungary.
SOROS: I have been very concerned about Europe. The euro is in the process of destroying the European Union. To some extent, this has already happened, in the sense that the EU was meant to be a voluntary association of equal states.