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Report: Romanian leader Liviu Dragnea blames George Soros for 2017 assassination attempt
International Monetary Fund / CCL
One of the most powerful political figures in Romania thinks leftist billionaire George Soros may be hiding something.
Liviu Dragnea, the legally-embattled leader of Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD), hinted on Tuesday that he believes Soros was behind an assassination attempt made on his life in 2017.
Dragnea, who later backtracked his comments but who called Soros a “malefic character” in July of last year, has a history of blaming Soros when things don’t go his way — but his most recent allegation takes this to a whole new level.
“He is thinking of me”
Speaking to the pro-government news station Antena 3, Dragnea said that four foreign men stayed in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, and “got close to him” in April 2017. According to The Jewish Chronicle (also known as The JC), Dragnea “gave no further details of their approach” at that time, but he said he believed the four men had been paid by “a very famous person in the world” to assassinate him.
When reporters asked if Dragnea was referring to Soros, the PSD leader responded: “I am not thinking of him; he is thinking of me.”
In a Wednesday interview with local station KRMG, Dragnea finally elaborated on the alleged assassination attempt, “saying that two cars without license plates with four foreigners in him had blocked his car in traffic near the Parliament building, but he had managed to evade them.”
Dragnea also told KRMG that he failed to inform authorities about the alleged assassination attempt, a claim opposite to what he’d said in earlier interviews, according to the station. Spokespeople for Romanian law enforcement later confirmed that they were unaware of the alleged assassination attempt.
“There has been no complaint, and no investigation has been started,” one official close to law enforcement said.
Dragnea also backtracked his insinuation about Soros’ involvement in the alleged scheme in his Wednesday interview, saying: “I want to clarify that — despite my very bad opinion of him — I don’t believe George Soros was implicated in this.”
“I will not surrender”
Ahead of an upcoming election, Dragnea is currently in the midst of an appeal on a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for alleged corruption involving the transfer of money to businesses in Brazil. Dragnea maintains his innocence, and in 2017, blamed Soros for the scandal.
“These are just papers full of lies,” Dragnea told reporters of the report filed against him alleging corruption. “I have read the DNA release, my name is not there… It cannot be about me, I don’t have any businesses in Brazil, nor elsewhere and I have not committed any crime, neither there nor here.”
Dragnea added: “It all starts from George Soros, this malefic character, to whom I say: I will not surrender!”
According to KRMG, the party leader, who is reportedly “seen as the most powerful politician in the country,” was also “disqualified [from running in 2016] for the office of prime minister due to a 2016 vote-rigging conviction.”
In addition to this criminal background, the party leader has also come under fire recently for allegedly using police violence — including tear gas, water cannons, pepper spray, and batons — to control a large-scale anti-government corruption rally that took place on Aug. 10.
In short, Dragnea’s initial implication of Soros was likely merely an attempt to clear his name ahead of next year’s elections. But with Soros’ reputation for interfering in politics all over the world, it’s no surprise that some global leaders want Soros out of the picture — and those leaders may be willing to do, or say, whatever it takes to make that happen.
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