Farage al­leges col­lu­sion over Soros’ Open So­ci­ety fund­ing; three Mal­tese MEPs named in doc­u­ment map­ping ‘re­li­able al­lies’

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici

Three Mal­tese MEPs – Miriam Dalli, Roberta Met­sola and Therese Com­mo­dini Cachia – are named in the Open So­ci­ety re­port en­ti­tled Map­ping Re­li­able al­lies in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment

(2014 – 2019) that was re­ferred to by MEP and Brexit ar­chi­tect Nigel Farage dur­ing the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment de­bate on the Par­adise Pa­pers, when he slammed his fel­low par­lia­men­tar­i­ans for al­leged col­lu­sion – some­thing that has been re­sound­ingly de­nied.

Open So­ci­ety is a foun­da­tion es­tab­lished by Hun­gar­ian in­vestor Ge­orge Soros, with the aim of pro­mot­ing lib­eral val­ues and human rights causes. It pro­vides fi­nan­cial sup­port to civil so­ci­ety groups around the world, with the stated aim of ad­vanc­ing jus­tice, education, pub­lic health and in­de­pen­dent me­dia.

Soros is a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure in Hun­gary, after com­ing into direct op­po­si­tion with Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­ban, who is the sub­ject of se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions con­cern­ing the rule of law, par­tic­u­larly on the Euro­pean stage.

“When we are talk­ing about off­shore money, when we are talk­ing about po­lit­i­cal sub­ver­sion, when we are talk­ing about col­lu­sion, I won­der if we are look­ing in the wrong place?”, Farage said to jeers.

“And I say that be­cause Ge­orge Soros re­cently gave $18 bil­lion to Open So­ci­ety which, of course, cam­paigns for free­dom of move­ment of peo­ple and supra­na­tional struc­tures such as the Euro­pean Union.

“I fear we could be look­ing at the biggest level of in­ter­na­tional, po­lit­i­cal col­lu­sion in his­tory.”

Farage claimed that, last year, Open So­ci­ety held more than 40 meet­ings with the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and he called for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his fel­low MEPs to see whether they had re­ceived fund­ing from Soros, as he re­ferred to a doc­u­ment pub­lished by Open So­ci­ety’s Euro­pean Pol­icy In­sti­tute.

The doc­u­ment de­scribes both Dalli and Met­sola as “very keen on mi­gra­tion; also in­ter­ested in asy­lum; gen­der equal­ity; and all mi­nor­ity rights”, with the lat­ter also be­ing de­scribed as “very in­ter­ested in youth; strongly proEuro­pean; and prag­matic.”

Speak­ing to The Malta In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day, a spokesman in­sisted that nei­ther Met­sola, nor any­one on her be­half, had ever had any form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with or been of­fered or ac­cepted any fund­ing from any­one re- motely as­so­ci­ated with Ge­orge Soros. He said that Met­sola has “al­ways stood up for the rule of law in places like Hun­gary and Malta, which has led far-right fac­tions to try to smear her with all sorts of lies. It will not stop her from stand­ing up for the rule of law.” In a state­ment to Euronews, Open So­ci­ety said that “Plu­ral­is­tic democ­racy re­quires de­bate and di­a­logue among a wide range of stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives, pub­lic of­fi­cials and civil so­ci­ety ac­tors. Far from be­ing a ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­ity, as Mr Farage seems to think, such con­ver­sa­tions are an im­por­tant part of demo­cratic pol­icy de­bates. Ge­orge Soros has never funded in­di­vid­ual MEPs.

“The Open So­ci­ety Foun­da­tion and Ge­orge Soros, chair­man, are proud of our work over sev­eral decades, in­clud­ing in the UK, to ad­vance human rights, strengthen the rule of law and hold gov­ern­ments ac­count­able to the peo­ple they serve.”

Nigel Farage

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