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"Amerika Hangja" - Voice of America - Soros Gyorgy, Soros
Alapitvanyok valamint a Kozep-Europai Egyetem
(Elnezest az esetleges kisbetukert, de az eredeti szoveg csupa
nagybetuvel volt irva, amit at kellett cserelnem.)

Buchwald Amy


     title=Soros & the new Marshall Plan [part #4]
    byline=Francis Ronalds
    editor=Thomas Slinkard

content= Actualities in audio services

anncr:   The Voice of America presents Focus!

Cart:    Focus theme up, establish, under

Intro:   The success of the Marshall Plan in reviving the
         devastated countries of Western Europe after World War
         two has not been replicated by efforts to succor the
         lands which, before 1989, were parts of the Soviet
         Empire.  There is widespread agreement that a key to the
         Marshall Plan's success was the fact that there was only
         one aid donor -- the United States -- and the United
         States required the recipient countries to cooperate in
         dividing up the aid, in lowering tariffs and in
         establishing convertible currencies.  So far, the rich
         G-7 countries of the west and institutions like the
         International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been
         unable to work out a similar coordinated strategy.  At
         the same time, the nationalist feelings suppressed so
         long under the communist yoke now often stand in the way
         of effective cooperation among the nations of the former
         Soviet bloc.  But there is one aid organization that
         has, on a relatively modest scale, followed the
         principles of the Marshall Plan.  The Soros Foundation,
         with its remarkable network of 34 institutions in 25
         nations, has just one donor -- the hungarian-born
         american financier and philanthropist George Soros.  Mr.
         Soros has already earmarked over one billion dollars of
         his own money for building what he calls "Open
         Societies" in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  In this
         final program in our series on the lessons of the
         Marshall Plan, Frank Ronalds describes Mr. Soros'
         achievements and his long-term goals.
Host:    According to Lord Eric Roll, the americans showed vision
         and foresight when, in 1947, they set the conditions for
         Marshall Plan.   During the four years the plan lasted,
         Eric Roll was the British representative on the
         Organization for European Economic Cooperation in Paris.
         He is now president of S.G. Warburg, the London
         investment banking firm:

Tape: Cut one -- roll

         "The Americans said, right from the beginning, 'we will
         ask congress for x-million dollars and you will divide
         it among yourselves according to your program.  We will
         not interfere with the division of the aid.'  That was
         an extraordinary decision.  It was absolutely
         flabbergasting to us, I can assure you: when we were
         told that the Americans expected us, sitting in Paris,
         to divide the aid among ourselves.  But we did.  And it
         was terribly important.  They wanted not merely to be
         free from the responsibility, and therefore from any
         kind of backbiting that they favored 'x' [country]
         rather than 'y' and so on.  Not only for that reason,
         which is a pretty obvious one.  But because they were
         convinced that if we were drawing up the recovery
         program, we were the people who had to decide who was
         going to get what.  And that was a very far-sighted
         thing.  A very remarkable piece of statesmanship."

Host:    George Soros, who has shown similar foresight, is
         critical of current western aid efforts.  Due to
         political pressures at home, he says, the types of aid
         offered often reflect the needs of the donors more than
         the recipients.  Furthermore, he says, the aid is all
         too likely to disappear into the maw of a corrupt
         government bureaucracy, the legacy of long years of
         communist rule.  His approach is similar to that of the
         Marshall Planners, except that aid is not turned over to
         central governments:

Tape: Cut two -- Soros

         "The main difference is that we're genuinely concerned
         about the needs of the people whom we are helping.  We
         listen to them.  In each country, we have a foundation
         with a board of local people, representative citizens,
         and a local organization.  And we don't dictate to them
         how they spend the money.  They decide how they spend
         the money.  We offer them a menu of opportunities and we
         also define guidelines within which they can act.  But
         it's really their decision where their priorities lie
         and how far they develop in certain areas.  So each
         foundation is very different.  We build on the needs of
         the country and on the abilities of the people who are
         either involved in the foundation or are supported by
         the foundation.  We are guided by the demands and the
         possibilities in the countries themselves.  We don't
         have a strategy that we impose."

Host:    Most of the organizations set up by Mr. Soros in
         formerly communist countries are called "Open Society
         Foundations."  All of them are inspired by the same
         philosophy, based on his own personal experience as well
         as studies, particularly with the philosopher, Karl
         Popper, who coined the term "open society."  Mr. Soros

Tape: Cut three -- Soros

         "I grew up in Hungary, where I experienced persecution
         from the nazis and then I had a taste of the communist
         regime.  So I learned very early in my life how
         important it is what kind of a society you live in.  And
         this early experience led me to explore this conflict
         between two kinds of social organization.  On the one
         hand, let's say, the nazi and the communist, which are
         what I call 'closed societies,' and the other, which is
         normally described as democracy, which I call 'open.'  I
         was very much influenced in studying Karl Popper.  I
         realized that the key issue is this:  that in a closed
         society, somebody stands up and says, 'I know the
         ultimate truth, and there's only one way to do things,
         and that's my way.'  There's an ultimate truth, which
         everybody has to live with.  Whereas this other, open,
         society recognizes that we don't really have the
         ultimate answer, that we all operate as participants
         with imperfect understanding.  That leads you to
         pluralism.  Open society.  And the other one, of course,
         is the closed society and dogma."

Host:    Just as dictatorships are highly centralized, democracy
         calls for a devolution of decision-making.  With the
         collapse of the highly centralized Soviet system, there
         is a crying need for competent public administrators at
         the local levels.  To foster this process of
         decentralization, Mr. Soros established the institute
         for local government and public service, which is
         headquartered in Budapest.  Zoltan Szigethy, executive
         director of the institute, works with Soros
         Organizations throughout the area to help cities and
         Universities train administrators to take on new tasks,
         often bringing people together across national
         boundaries to share their experiences:

Tape: Cut four -- Szigethy

         "In many respects, these countries are struggling for
         their own individual survival at this point, and they
         find it difficult to cooperate as nations.  As a
         consequence, what we are doing, and what we are
         promoting, is that individuals, smaller groups,
         associations, who have common interests -- that they
         come together.  And in the process, hopefully and
         eventually, the nation states will follow suit.  But the
         momentum for this kind of sharing is not coming from the
         (top) government levels.  It's coming from the grass
         roots levels.  And that is where we are putting our
         chips (money) and providing our support."

Host:    The Central European University, which has been given an
         endowment of 100-million dollars and 30-million dollars
         in construction funds by George Soros, has campuses in
         Budapest and Prague.  Its president and rector is
         professor Al Stepan, former dean of the School of
         International and Public Affairs at Columbia University
         in New York:

Tape: Cut five -- Stepan

         "We are very interested in strategies to transcend
         nationalism and positive strategies to encourage
         cooperation.  There is no question that that's really
         the core idea of the Central European University.  In
         that way, it's similar to the Marshall Plan.

         Let me give you an example of a very specific area where
         we are trying to help overcome a major problem by a form
         of collective work.  That's in the area of environment.
         We have about 60 students in our environmental stream
         (enrolled in environmental studies).  They come from
         about 25 different countries.  At least 40 percent of
         them, by the way, have a PhD [doctorate] in science.
         Now what they're doing with us is taking a master's
         degree in the policy analysis of pollution problems and
         environmental policy.  And they are working together on
         projects that, if we were talking about, say, the world
         bank doing them, it would be extremely difficult to get
         PhDs from 15 countries in the field, living out in tents
         overnight for a long period of time.  But a University,
         which doesn't represent governments as much as civil
         society, can organize a project like this.  (Begin opt)
         As you know, much of Central and Eastern Europe is
         intensely polluted, and there are more than 25 different
         borders.  Therefore, it's impossible to think of a
         coherent policy to reverse this unless one thinks about
         cooperative international action. (End opt)"

Host:    The Soros initiatives do not entirely by-pass
         governments.  For example, George Soros has given 100
         million dollars to provide research grants to many of
         the outstanding scientists in Russia, Ukraine and other
         states of the former Soviet Union, who previously were
         employed by the Soviet military-industrial complex.  The
         International Science Foundation cooperates with the
         Russian Ministry of what and also with Moscow State
         University.  But grants are awarded by an advisory
         committee made up of scientists from many different
         countries.  No party functionaries appointed to
         scientific organizations by former communist leaders
         need apply.

         Another major program is devoted to educational reform.
         Over the long run, Mr. Soros believes, nothing could be
         more important:

Tape: Cut six -- Soros

         "We have a project in Russia, which started in Russia,
         which is a transformation of humanities education in the
         high schools (secondary schools) and Universities of
         Russia.  In conjunction with the minister of education
         and the minister of higher education, we have a task
         force, basically, to replace Marxism-Leninism in the
         schools, and replace a dogmatic way of teaching with a
         critical way of thinking.  We started 18 months ago or
         so.  We advertised for projects.  We had an
         international jury.  We had a couple of thousand
         applications and we had several hundred projects we
         authorized.  The first textbooks have been written.
         They are being distributed.  There are workshops held,
         teachers trained, principals trained.  The impact, I
         think, is tremendous, and the speed with which this
         whole program has evolved is really impressive.  The
         first textbooks are in the classrooms.  We expect to
         spend 250-million dollars over the next five years."

Host:    The Central European University is another example of
         this emphasis on education.  Anne Lonesdale, a former
         professor of Chinese literature at Oxford University and
         the current chairman of the association for university
         administrators in Great Britain, is now C-E-U.
         secretary general.  She says that the C-E-U, which
         offered its first classes in the fall of 1990, is the
         first university in the world to begin operations in
         close cooperation with many other institutions of higher
         learning, making extensive use of computers for archival
         retrieval and other communications:

Tape: Cut seven -- Lonesdale

         "What excited me about the job of secretary general at
         the C-E-U was that it's doing something which I think is
         very important, in both Prague and Budapest; and we have
         now opened a new department in Warsaw.  That's keeping
         the frontiers open for a university of an entirely new
         type.  A university which is a network, right from the
         beginning.  I think that in the United States, certainly
         in Western Europe, you'll find that universities are
         forming networks.  But to start by being a network is
         perhaps a revolutionary step.  We will be looking hard
         at the use of new technology to link our campuses and to
         help the region by demonstrating new methods of
         teaching, new methods of communicating, which may help
         other institutions to follow suit."

Host:    The Central European University has become a clearing
         house for information on privatization efforts
         throughout the former Soviet bloc.  (Begin opt) The
         first book published by the university press analyzed
         the varying approaches to privatizing industry and
         agriculture taken in Central Europe and the Baltic
         states; the second dealt with privatization in the
         nations of the former Soviet Union.  (End opt)  Several
         Soros organizations, including the International
         Management Institute in Kiev, provide both students and
         public officials with instruction on the operation of
         free markets.  Among western governments involved in the
         aid effort, there is a debate on the efficacy of sending
         western experts to the East, as opposed to inviting
         executives and middle level managers to visit or work in
         American or Western European companies.  Zoltan Szigethy
         says that the Soros organizations have quite a different

Tape: Cut eight -- Szigethy

         "It is far more useful for someone from the East to find
         out how somebody else from the East is doing things, if
         they have figured out a solution on how to do something.
         I'll give you a case in point.  The public
         administration masters, graduates of schools of public
         administration, have the opportunity for an internship,
         for a post-graduation internship, somewhere else.  Many
         of them, of course, want to go to the West, and do.  And
         so you send a graduate student to New York, to London,
         or whatever.  What that student sees there, and learns
         there, will indeed be useful for him or her.  Frankly,
         it would probably be more useful for the student to go
         to Prague or Budapest or Warsaw, perhaps, and see how a
         country that is much closer to their culture, their
         experience, to the kind of place that they're going back
         to, how they solved the problems, how they are dealing
         with the problems."

Host:    At the Central European University, about half of the
         professors come from the West, and half from the East,
         including the South Caucasus and Central Asia.  The
         student body of 480 has an equal number of students from
         the 25 countries in the former communist bloc, with a
         sprinkling of students from the West.  All come on full
         scholarships; at present, standards are so high that
         only one out of ten applicants can be accepted.  Masters
         degrees are offered in political science, sociology,
         economics, environmental studies history, and medieval
         studies, with a journalism school planned for the next
         academic year.  President Al Stepan says that there is a
         strong emphasis on respect for minority rights, which
         are essential to any democracy:

Tape: Cut nine -- Stepan

         "The whole idea of democracy is both a protection of
         minority rights, and individual rights, but also
         constitutionalism.  By constitutionalism, I mean that
         the new elected majorities themselves respect the larger
         law of the land, which is enshrined in a constitution
         which, of course, protects minorities against
         majorities.  That's a concept that is well understood in
         the countries of Western Europe.  It's increasingly
         under discussion in Central Europe, but it doesn't have
         much of a history of jurisprudence or legal culture
         behind it, for example, in Russia at the moment.  And
         that's one of the most important things, intellectually,
         as we hope there are many people from Russia who
         participate in, say, our legal studies program, and
         begin to develop their own distinctive tradition of
         legal culture."

Host:    Talking with the students at Central European University
         is an education in the minority problems existing
         throughout the area.  For example, Andrey Urasov is an
         ethnic Russian who comes from Kishinyev
         (keesh-een-yov'), capital of the independent state of

Tape: Cut ten -- Urasov  (in english but russian also available)

         "There are a lot of students from the former Soviet
         Union.  For example, from such countries as Lithuania,
         Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Russia.  And I am from
         Moldova, as you know.  One of my best friends here in
         university is from Georgia.  He is Armenian, but he is
         from Georgia.  And another friend of mine is from
         Uzbekistan.  There are some students from Rumania and I
         have very good relations with them.  I speak rumanian,
         and I speak with them in this language, because you know
         that Rumanian is the language of Moldovans.  I have
         friendly relations with other students and I haven't
         found any anti-Russian feelings."

Host:    Anne Lonesdale, C-E-U secretary general, recalls one
         incident which, she says, characterizes the relations
         between the students of various nationalities:

Tape: Cut eleven -- Lonesdale

         "They do all seem to get on.  We had a very good example
         of that on our environmental summer program, when we
         took them on a field trip and we found that the Bosnians
         and the Macedonians, the Serbians and Croatians, all got
         together and shared a hut, and put a big notice outside
         saying 'the former Yugoslavia.'"

Host:    The political and economic outlook in much of the region
         is anything but reassuring.  Nevertheless, George Soros
         believes that his efforts will bear fruit over the long
         run.  He also believes that the ideas he has been
         preaching for several years are beginning to have an
         impact on the policies of Western governments, as well:

Tape: Cut twelve -- Soros

         "I'm doing it because first of all, I believe deeply in
         this concept of an open society, which is just a broader
         vision of democracy, tolerance for minorities and so on.
         And secondly, I have the means.  And while I take a
         pretty pessimistic view of the future for the region --
         I mean, I see a vale of tears ahead -- at the same time,
         I feel that we are doing something very important and
         very positive. I seem to be getting closer and closer to
         actually impacting [affecting] the course of events
         because I have a sense that more and more people are
         actually taking my ideas seriously.  And at the same
         time, in my own personal way, I've been going ahead and
         I can claim some real successes."

Voice:   This has been "focus" on the Voice of America.  This
         program, the last in a series on the lessons of the
         Marshall Plan, has dealt with the remarkable network of
         organizations set up by the billionaire George Soros to
         help build democracy and free markets in East-Central
         europe and the former soviet union.  Written and
         narrated by Frank Ronalds, the program was produced by
         _______________ and the director was ______________ .
         This series on the Marshall Plan was made possible by a
         grant from the Rias Foundation.

Neb / fr / tls

01-Jul-94 5:08 pm edt (2108 utc)

source: Voice of America