George Soros’ Romanian Ghosts
Part 9 | Full Series Here
During the 2014 European Parliamentary (EP) elections, George Soros’s Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE) gave roughly $5.7 million to organizations to oppose candidates that favored nation-state sovereignty over a more centralized European Union. The funds that it gave to his Romanian Foundation for an Open Society (FSD) were also intended for that country’s presidential election.
The following include some of the projects that included Romania.
It gave $91,500 to the Foundation for an Open Society Romania (FSD) for an anti-hate speech campaign for both the EP elections and Romania’s presidential election that November. It gave FSD another $41,250 to mobilize Romanian migrants living abroad to dilute the nativist vote in those countries.
Always the adept investor, Soros keeps a naughty and nice list of his EP politicians entitled “Reliable allies in the European Parliament (2014-2019).”
Among the Romanian Members, he described Renate Weber, also one of the three members of FSD’s council, as a “resolute Open Society promoter.” He described Cristian Dan Preda as “timidly progressive,” and Monica Macovei as “resolutely progressive.” Macovei qualified as an “unquestionable ally of Open Society values.”
Romania’s Presidential Elections: Holding It Hostage to an Autocratic Prosecutor
Romania’s 2014 presidential election presented quite the bleak outlook for Romanian “Sorosists,” as the billionaire’s Romanian detractors call them.
Soros-funded NGOs treated the country’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) as its political party because it lacked a clear, pro-open society faction to support. Under Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, the agency intensified the purge that Macovei began in 2005. Kovesi opened three times the cases within 17 months of taking over than in the previous three years. The Economist reported that “in 2014 the DNA secured convictions of 1,138 people, including 24 mayors, five members of parliament, two ex-ministers and a former prime minister.”
A report by the London-based Henry Jackson Society entitled “Fighting Corruption with Con Tricks” found that the DNA had systematically abused its power and largely reverted to tactics used by communist-era secret services, including Romania’s feared Securitate.
The DNA’s effect on corruption in Romania has resembled unleashing a firehose in a five-year-old’s face whose sleeve had caught fire. The blast put out most of the flame, but permanently blinded the child in the process.
Part of the agency’s failure to justly tackle corruption came from poor accountability, stemming from perverse incentives.
Unlike New South Wales’s anticorruption agency, the DNA lacks Parliamentary oversight.
The European Commission places enormous emphasis on the quantity of high-level indictments rather than the quality; and pleasing the Commission holds the promise of the country’s future accession to the border-free Schengen area.
Kovesi, meanwhile, in brilliant Machiavellian fashion learned to treat the E.U. and U.S. Embassy as her boss’s supervisors. This in turn, rendered her untouchable and internationally rewarded.
In August, a delegation from the Embassy, led by Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson paid a “courtesy visit” to the head of the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM), the body that oversees prosecutors and judges in Romania, to discuss the effects that the results of the upcoming election could have on the Romanian justice system.
Vice President Joe Biden visited Romania before campaign season began where in a speech to NGOs he profusely praised the DNA He subtly threatened, based on the language of the NATO Charter, that the U.S. could just leave Romania to defend itself if it didn’t behave in tackling corruption.
A month after Biden’s visit, Senators John McCain (R-Arizona), Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) also visited the country where they promptly met with three individuals: the president, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Kovesi.
A True, Pro-Open Society Alternative
When Macovei’s party merged with the National Liberals (PNL) to present a united front against Social Democrat (PSD) Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Macovei had had enough. The previous year, she’d noted the anti-Băsescu alliance (which included the PNL) held 70 percent of Parliament. If it won the presidency, she claimed, “Romania will not look like a European democracy, but an Asian dictatorship.” Romanians needed a candidate who stood for true reform. They needed her.
Because Soros’s FSD could not legally endorse a candidate for president, it put the billionaire’s donation to use, attacking candidates who preyed on “the direct fears and prejudices in the subconscious of a silent majority.”
A surrogate for Ponta criticized Klaus Johannis’s (PNL) not having children—an attack that Ponta disavowed. However, by frequently posing with his family and insisting on the importance of his children in his life, Ponta was displaying an “obvious” element of discrimination toward Johannis and inciting hatred. The FSD attacked another campaign for describing its candidate Elena Udrea as “good” for Romania, under the slogan “beautiful Romania.” FSD interpreted “good” as a sexual reference, and claimed the “sexist” slogans nearly cancelled the “joyous novelty” of having two women presidential candidates.
Maybe Mrs. Udrea really is beautiful. But her Romania, in which she wishes to become president as a self-defined sexual object isn’t at all beautiful. It’s actually ugly because it’s uncouth, it’s aggressive, it’s uneducated, it’s mean, it’s masculinized in a bad sense, in which women are allowed to be good or stay in their place [emphasis in original].
Macovei easily gathered 332.241 signatures to make the ballot; but failed to even double that in votes. She finished fifth in the first round behind Udrea, with 4.5 percent. She begrudgingly threw her support to Johannis who faced Ponta in the run-off.
Taking Advantage of a Crisis
Romania did not yet allow absentee voting, which caused long lines at its embassies and consulates.
In Romania, protesters demanded easier ballot access for the diaspora, and called on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to step down—which he promptly did.
That did not satisfy the revolutionary element though. Chants of “DNA” rang out, as thousands expressed their hope that the DNA would round up all the Social Democrats, put them in jail, and shut down media outlets favorable to them. This radical element drove even some of the organizers away.
Many of the protesters were veterans of the anti-Rosia Montana and anti-fracking protests that took place from 2006 to 2013 [See Neil Maghami’s analysis of Rosia Montana here]. Their groups received generous funding from Soros and other deep-pocketed environmentalists in the U.S. and Western Europe. One of the radical groups was Uniți Salvăm (United We Save), whose leader Claudiu Crăciun compared the movement to Occupy Wall Street. He told the European Parliament that he wanted to bring a “democratic spring” to Eastern Europe, similar to the Arab Spring.
Many considered Ponta a traitor because they had helped his leftist government gain power when he opposed the mining and fracking operations. After educating himself on the issues though, he reversed on both.
After Johannis won the run-off, columnist Dan Tapalaga, a former Freedom House scholar, who served as an advisor and spokesman to Macovei when she was Minister of Justice, praised the outpouring of support for “key institutions” like the DNA and the Orwellian National Integrity Agency (ANI) that Macovei pushed through in the mid-2000s. “No politician will ever have the courage to touch them after the wave of protests in the country where the defense of justice was shouted loud and clear.”