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88-year old Philanthropist, George Soros named as Financial Times 'Person of the Year'

The Financial Times has named George Soros, as its Person of the Year for his role as the "standard bearer of liberal democracy and open society".

The 88-year-old US investor and philanthropist founded the Open Society Foundation. Soros was born to a Jewish family in Hungary but has been singled out by Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban as a state enemy. 

The FT said its choice of Person of the Year is “usually a reflection of their achievements. In the case of Mr Soros this year, his selection is also about the values he represents.” The paper described Ms Soros as the “standard bearer of liberal democracy and open society. These are the ideas which triumphed in the Cold War.  “Today, they are under siege from all sides, from Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Donald Trump’s America.” 

It praised Mr Soros for using “philanthropy to battle against authoritarianism, racism and intolerance. Through his long commitment to openness, media freedom and human rights, he has attracted the wrath of authoritarian regimes and, increasingly, the national populists who continue to gain ground, particularly in Europe.” 

Speaking to the newspaper, Soros, who has also made a donation to the anti-Brexit group Best for Britain, said: “I’m blamed for everything, including being the anti-Christ. “I wish I didn’t have so many enemies, but I take it as an indication that I must be doing something right.”  The paper also noted the volume of “antisemitic conspiracy theories targeting Mr Soros”, adding: “that it is difficult to keep count. Hardly a day goes by without a statement, a tweet or an image depicting him as a master manipulator of global politics.

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