Shock, scorn as international community reacts to Trump

By Alison Barnett

Staff Writer

“The fact is, Cape Breton is lovely all times of the year and if people do want to make choices that perhaps suit their lifestyles better, Canada is always welcoming and opening.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joked back in March about the possibility of a Donald Trump victory causing Americans to flee north, but post-election, things are getting more serious. Politicians and leaders all over the world have voiced their concerns about Trump since the election began, and many are now shocked at the results.

The French magazine Libération published this cover on Nov. 10, 2016. Source: Libération

European Union leaders held a meeting Sunday to discuss how they are going to handle the new administration, though it was boycotted by soon-to-be former member Great Britain. The president of the E.U. council, Donald Tusk, and his Commission counterpart Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Trump, and said that the U.S. and E.U. “should consolidate the bridges we have been building across the Atlantic.”

Elsewhere in Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel subtly condemned the president-elect’s xenophobic tendencies, saying that “Germany and America are connected by values: democracy, freedom, respect for the law and for the dignity of human beings, independently of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views.” In France, President Francois Hollande, like Merkel, was concerned about Trump’s statements during the election. Hollande said that “certain positions taken by Donald Trump during the American campaign must be confronted with the values and interests we share with the United States”.    

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a more positive approach, saying that Trump is a “true friend of the State of Israel”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also pleased with the election result.“Personally and on behalf of the nation, I wish to consider this decision by the American people a positive sign and wish them a successful future,” said Mr. Erdogan in a statement.

Of course, Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of Trump’s biggest foreign supporters during the election, sent him a congratulatory telegram, affirming “his hope to work together for removing Russian-American relations from their crisis state.”

Foreign media also reacted to Trump’s victory last week. One French newspaper, Libération, depicted Trump on the front page hidden in shadow, with the caption “American Psycho.” The cover of the British newspaper The Sun showed Trump standing next Homer Simpson saying “D’oh!” Other headlines read “The Trump Apocalypse” (New Statesman, UK), “W.T.F” (The Daily Telegraph, Australia), and “Dear America, No You Can’t!” (The New Zealand Herald, New Zealand).