Billionaire oligarch George Soros’ fund claims it bought Polish media outlet to stop ‘oligarchs’ from controlling media

By John Cody
4 Min Read

George Soros’ fund recently bought a major stake in Polish media publisher Gremi Media, leaving Polish conservatives to criticize the move as national elections gear up in October. However, the fund justified its move in a statement by claiming it bought the media to stop “oligarchs” from buying up independent media.

The Soros Economic Development Fund explained in a statement its position regarding why it bought Gremi Media, which owns the major newspapers of Rzeczpospolita and Parkiet,

“Since 2005, independent media in Europe has been under increasing threat from the concentration of capital in the hands of politicians and politically committed oligarchs,” wrote the fund. “The financial crisis of the late 2000s and social media technology have disrupted traditional media models and made it easier for wealthy oligarchs and governments to buy up news companies. Many governments have changed their regulatory environment to exert greater control over information, and the use of public funds to finance media has led to a breakdown in media independence.”

Soros is one of the richest people in the world and widely considered to be a “politically committed oligarch” who has bought up media organizations across the West. For example, Soros’ fund just paid $400 million to purchase Vice Media after it went bankrupt. Soros has also played an active role in buying up Hispanic radio stations across the United States. Soros has already been active in Poland as well, including with Radio Zet, the country’s second-largest radio station in 2019.

Soros accrued billions from currency speculation and has been convicted for insider trading.

Pluralis, a company owned by billionaire oligarch George Soros, acquired a majority stake in Gremi Media, the publisher of Polish newspapers including Rzeczpospolita and Parkiet last week. This means that Pluralis will take control of Gremi Media, Boguslaw Chrabota, editor-in-chief of Rzeczpospolita, told Polish news agency PAP.

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Pluralis now owns 931,000 shares in Gremi Media, representing 52 percent of the capital and 57 percent of the votes on the company’s board.

“This means that Pluralis will take control of Gremi Media and will have full decision-making powers in management and editorial matters. Given that he took over the company to expand it, not to liquidate or destroy it, I hope that all the value will be retained and that the company will continue to grow,” said Boguslaw Chrabota, who stated that Pluralis does not intend to interfere in media content and will only manage business interests.

Not everyone thinks Pluralis will abstain from interfering in the editorial process, however, and many are questioning the incredible media power Soros and his various funds and NGOs have. Latvian daily Neatkariga, for instance, wrote:

“The Polish media in the hands of the Soros family must adhere to the ideology that Soros has been cultivating, developing and spreading for decades, whether through money or other means. … Soros is one of the most controversial figures of our time. The political environment in every country where his money surfaces is confronted with aggressive, intolerant activity by the Soros media and NGOs.”

The paper notes that Soros has followed a different playbook in Latvia. There, he did not buy influential media but invested millions in shaping public opinion, creating and funding various NGOs, such as Delna and Providus.

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