With the European Union’s weakest economies on the ropes for several years and needing bailouts to sustain themselves, the region needs to find a common identity instead of being a disparate group of haves and have-nots, billionaire investor George Soros said in Athens.
Speaking at a conference on philanthropy organized by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in cooperation with the European Foundation Center, the Hungarian-born investor said that creditors always have the “upper hand” in an economic crisis, a fact which leads to the creation of two different categories of countries.
In the case of Greece, Soros said it should be acknowledged that the country had violated the rules and regulations of the union and lived beyond its means. He said that Greeks felt cheated by the harsh austerity measures imposed on them and that it caused a backlash against immigrants.
As for Germany – which has insisted on the tough terms in return for backing big bailouts – Soros said that it must choose whether to assume a leading role in the union and take on the responsibilities that go with it. He said, however, that Berlin does not want this role as the memories of recent history weigh heavy.
Soros concluded that an immediate European solution should be found to the bloc’s problem rather than each country seeking its own individual solution.
See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Greekreporter.com. Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!