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Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump's Election Triggers Deep Concern in Europe & EU politicians fearing for their future.

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Trump's Election Triggers Deep Concern in Europe & EU politicians fearing for their future. (Spiegel).

The European Union is facing what the Americans like to call a "perfect storm." Russian President Vladimir Putin is pursuing expansionism on the back of violence and propaganda, Turkey is transforming into a dictatorship and populists are driving Britain out of the EU and have risen to power in Poland and Hungary -- and may soon take the reins elsewhere as well.

Two days after the US election, Europe finds itself gripped by a mixture of disbelief and desperation, only imperfectly masked by formulaic messages of congratulations sent to Washington. Chancellor Angela Merkel even made her cooperation with Trump dependent on his adherence to fundamental values. A German head of government admonishing a newly elected US president to uphold freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human dignity? Normally such a thing would be the height of impudence.

But almost nothing seems normal these days -- neither in European relations with the US nor elsewhere. Current events in Turkey, for example, would likely be the top issue of concern for the EU if it weren't for Trump's election. With the civil war still raging in Syria, Turkey plays a key role in European security, but the NATO country is sliding toward a dictatorship and the refugee deal with the EU is threatening to collapse. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is doing booming business with Putin and even hopes to discuss buying a missile defense system with the Russian president.

With Britain's departure, the EU is losing its second-largest economy and a country with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Europe's economy remains unstable and right-wing populists are on the rise in France, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany -- and they are already in power in Poland and Hungary. The European Commission believes the same values Merkel admonished Trump to respect are under threat in Poland.

Many in Brussels are concerned that the EU is facing the same fate as the US -- namely that Front National leader Marine Le Pen could end up being elected president in France and that Frauke Petry, head of the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany, could even take over the German Chancellery. Such a thing might seem unimaginable, but many thought that Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential elections was unimaginable too.
The anger that many voters feel against government institutions and the establishment, the anger that propelled Trump to the presidency, is also widely present in Europe
But nobody has yet found an answer for how to oppose it. The skepticism, she adds, isn't just fueled by concerns about having been left behind by globalization, but also by the desire to return to nationalist identity. Hmmm.......They all ignored the voters their complaints thought they could do without the voter now the time of reckoning is coming. Read the full story here.

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