Soros to Increase Support for Human Rights Groups in Europe

As the European Union scrambles to avoid financial catastrophe, Open Society Foundations chairman and founder George Soros is focusing his attention on threats to the EU's political cohesion, the Financial Times reports.

Soros, 82, told the FT that as a result of the region's debt crisis, social tensions among members of the Euro zone are on the rise. "When people are frustrated and angry, then minority rights and more vulnerable populations take the brunt of that," said Soros. "The problems of the euro have endangered the political cohesion of the EU."

With that in mind, the billionaire investor plans to step up his philanthropic support for human rights groups working to combat xenophobia and defuse tensions resulting from migration. He also said he will boost his commitments in Africa, "where we have been rather successful in issues [related to] the resource curse," and to his Open Society Foundations, which recently announced the selection of Christopher Stone, a criminal justice professor at Harvard, as its new president.

"The problems of open society have become much more far reaching than they used to be," said Soros. "The principles of open society are under attack in the developed world, facing a deflationary trap liable to lead to a period similar to the 1930s Great Depression. That was a period of great stress and threat to open society. I think there is a similarity, unfortunately, that we are in now."

Andrew Jack. "Soros to Increase Philanthropy in Europe." Financial Times 12/07/2011.