TIRANA, Albania – George Soros is a philanthropist who has chosen to invest in the Open Society in the United States and many countries of the world and to support his career around the idea of a progressive society.
In the late 1960s he created the Quantum Fund in the US, one of the most successful venture capital funds.
The billionaire opened foundations in various Eastern European countries in the late 1980s and after the fall of the communist system in Albania.
Investing hundreds of millions of dollars in former communist countries in education, health and many projects for the needy, aimed at politically influencing those countries.
Justice Reform – Soros project
In Albania, this debate culminated in the establishment and approval of the Soros Foundation for Justice Reform 3 years ago.
The executive director of the Soros Foundation in Albania, Andy Dobrussi, notes that Justice reform has begun to yield, although it has had many questions and problems in its path.
Former Albanian President Sali Berisha sees the political dimension: “Will you tell me what the Soros Foundation wants with its justice reform strategy? Its sole purpose was to turn Albanian justice into a branch of the Edi Rama executive.”
However, the discussion of the Soros Foundation’s activity in Albania is much older than the reform of the judiciary.
Sali Berisha, despite having praised the George Soros Open Society Institute in the early 1990s, then expressed strong reservations about the incident of two Soros Foundation officials arrested by Albanian intelligence services because they were intelligence service operatives.
“But that, however, did not disrupt the relationship between our country and George Soros. His investment in Albania to build and support civil society was welcomed by me. I was the president of a country, at that time, the third poorest in the world. People were not able to travel, they were not able to open offices, and it is true that the Soros Foundation at that time was the main source of funding for the creation of social organizations,” said Berisha.
‘After I changed my mind’
‘After 4-5 years I realized the almost entirely one-sided investment of George Soros, who had created a network of associations that, at 80-90%, were levers of the former Communist regime, the current Socialist Party that changed its name. It was a crisis of the role and mission of Civil Society,” sayid former Albanian President Sali Berisha.
Endlira Gionni, head of the Center for Public Influence, stressed:
“In a broader sense, George Soros is the man behind progressive and liberal policies and at the same time one of the contributors to politics in post-communist countries. He is known to be an anti-communist.”
She pointed out:
“We should also not forget that when Berisha was president, this man funded the construction of over 200 schools. So Soros’s investments cannot be called into question, no matter which party was in power.”
“The problem that arose in Albania with Soros relates mainly to the political programs he proposed, namely the training of the Young Leaders Foundation and the influence of political parties,” said Vaudry Lita.
His opponents in Albania see him as a strong supporter and sponsor of the left-wing parties and their representatives.
The Soros Foundation is governed by a Governing Board composed of many social and political figures.
“Prime Minister Edi Rama himself was a major presence at the Soros Foundation. His wife, Linda Rama, was the director of the Soros Foundation in Albania, the mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, as well. Like the author Ismail Kadare. In one sense, Soros’s money has sown incredible corruption. It is not that corruption did not exist before, but now it is more evident,” said Sali Berisha.
Discussing the activity of billionaire George Soros and his role in supporting civil society is not a purely Albanian issue.
Soros’s ideology of an open society has come to light and in some European countries in recent years, they have been the subject of controversy, such as in Hungary and “North Macedonia”.
The tide of this debate raises questions about this complex person, who became rich by investing in the most risky funds and part of his profits, unlike many other billionaires, has chosen to spend on promoting his ideology.