ITALY: Open Society Foundations Urge Italian Minister Matteo Salvini to Stop Repeating False Statements

(Open Society Foundation) On the La7 TV channel’s In Onda program, Italy’s Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini repeated false claims about George Soros and the Open Society Foundations.

He claimed “Soros wants to fill Italy and Europe with migrants” and that he “would like Italy [to become] a giant refugee camp because he likes slaves.” We urge Minister Salvini to stop repeating these and similar false statements about Mr. Soros and the work of the Open Society Foundations.

George Soros believes Europe needs a comprehensive, pan-European solution to address migration—including reform of the Dublin III Regulation and an increase in aid to promote democracy and prosperity in countries that are the source of most migration to Europe. His actual views on this are well known and can be found here.

The Open Society Foundations are the second-largest philanthropy worldwide, working through more than 20 national and regional foundations to support human rights, justice, and democracy around the world.

The Open Society Foundations have been working in Italy for more than a decade, providing grants to local groups involved in a range of social issues, including migration. Our funding helps organizations in Italy that work on all aspects of the challenges posed by migration. This ranges from ensuring that refugees and migrants are treated with dignity and humanity by the authorities, to exposing and countering migrant exploitation in certain sectors of the economy, to supporting local host communities and volunteers, who provide services such as language lessons.

The Open Society Foundations do not provide financial support for the search and rescue operations conducted in the Mediterranean by various NGOs, although we commend these humanitarian efforts.