The Financial Times unveiled on Tuesday its 2018 Person of the Year: the honorific was bestowed upon George Soros, a controversial US billionaire of Jewish-Hungarian descent, who is known for financing liberal causes across the globe.
The FT branded the 88-year-old investor a target of "daily attacks" for his left-wing activism from "forces of nationalism and populism". This choice, the newspaper stressed, was not only about what Soros has achieved, but also about the values that he represents — those of liberal democracy and open society.
The Soros-funded Open Society Foundations were forced out of Hungary after thirty years this summer, after Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused the NGO of meddling in the country's domestic affairs and promoting illegal immigration. The FT chastised Orban's accusations as "false", insisting that he used his anti-Soros narrative as an election-winning tool.
There has been a mixed reaction to the announcement, with critics comparing it to TIME's selecting Hitler as Man of the Year in 1938.
Well, we're still here, still fighting the same battle pic.twitter.com/NJTR6UtIIB— Marc (@avinumalkeinu) 19 декабря 2018 г.
Others believe that Soros is misinterpreting the ideas of freedom and democracy he claims to be standing by.
For all his outstanding work in trying to subvert uk democracy and overturn a democratically arrived at decision..good on yer George!🙈🙈— Bob Neville (@speedybn1968) 19 декабря 2018 г.
Imagine how much George Soros must have paid the Japanese owners of FT to make him person of the year. More proof that foreign ownership of British #media is a disgrace and that all media outlets in UK owned by foreigners must be registered as agents of foreign influence.— Alexander Nekrassov (@StirringTrouble) 19 декабря 2018 г.
When George Soros is named person of the year, you know the world is run by psychopaths,— Gareth Icke 🇵🇸 (@garethicke) 19 декабря 2018 г.
A Daily Caller report this week said that George Soros had indirectly awarded a $500,000 grant to a left-wing group that verbally attacked Florida Attorney General and Republican politician, Pam Bondi, at a movie theatre in June.
As per another report, a Soros-linked firm gave money to an investigator who compiled a dossier on the so far unproved allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, which both the POTUS and Russia adamantly deny.