Friday, January 06, 2006

Soros denies being behind the 1998 Asian economic crisis.

6 Jan 2006

The following is from

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - George Soros, chief of the Soros Fund Management, has denied allegations that he was behind the Asian economic crisis in 1998 which caused the fall of former President Soeharto in Indonesia.

"That (accusation) is totally groundless. I have no right or authority to use my money for political purposes," he said at a meeting with chief media editors grouped in the Editors` Club here Thursday (5/1) evening.

Soros, who is on his first visit to Indonesia gave his impressions of the country`s development in the post economic crisis, said his visit to Jakarta had no hiddden political agenda.

"My purpose is already clear, namely promoting the creation of an open society and democracy. In Indonesia. I do it through Tifa foundation," he said in reply to newsmen`s questions.

As a capital owner, Soros said his main purpose was to make money which he used to support an open society and democratization.

He had formed a global foundation network to help him achieve his goals.Having experinced life under the Nazi and communist regimes as a child, Soros had come to the conclusion it was necessary to develop the values of an open society such as have become the foundations of the Amerian people and democratic system.

However, he denied having been behind the Asian economic crisis as once alleged by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad.

"Mahathir is my publicity machine. He had made a big blunder, but his accusation has actually made me popular," he said at the meeting attended by top journalists, politicians and businessmen such as Jacob Oetama, Sabam Siagian, Emil Sallim and Sukamdani Gitosardjono.

He said those who could control the financial system were the country`s monetary authority; he was a market player. The power to control a country`s financial affairs is on the hands of the authority while he could only watch and take action on the basis of market developments.

"I study market developments closely, I will make profit if my assesments are correct. If I don`t, I suffer a loss," he said.

Replying to a question as to whether he was satisfied with the present Indonesian government, Soros said as an outsider who was visiting Indonesia, he said but he was pleased about the settlement of the Aceh conflict and the capture of wanted terrorists who had caused concern in international world. "I think President Yudhoyono has succeded and the public should support him," he said.



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