Shock, awe at Trump’s rise

DANGEROUS LEADER: Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech as his son, Barron, and wife, Melania, look on Picture: AFP
DANGEROUS LEADER: Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech as his son, Barron, and wife, Melania, look on Picture: AFP

US allies put on brave face as financial markets slump

Donald Trump’s extraordinary US election victory sent shockwaves across the world yesterday, as opponents braced for a “dangerous” leader in the White House while populists hailed a new revolution.

America’s allies put a diplomatically brave face on the outcome of the deeply divisive presidential race, which has implications for everything from trade to human rights, climate change to global conflicts.

A “Trump slump” hit financial markets, with Asian stocks nose-diving on investor concerns over the untested policies of the incoming president, although European shares clawed back some of their initial losses.

Mexicans were thunderstruck at the victory of the staunchly anti immigrant politician who has called migrants rapists and drug dealers, and vowed to force the country to pay billions to build a border wall.

But Trump’s populist brothers in-arms in Europe reacted with unabashed glee, with Nigel Farage, who spearheaded the Brexit campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, hailing two great political revolutions.

The Republican’s extraordinary rise to power has been keenly watched abroad as he campaigned on a platform of trashing trade agreements, restricting immigration, dismissing climate change, and otherwise disengaging from the rest of the world.

World leaders were quick to push for a continuation of ties with the top political and economic power, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel offering Trump close cooperation based on common values.

Similar sentiments were echoed from Turkey to Japan, China to Israel. And Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was repeatedly flattered and praised by Trump during the election campaign, said Moscow wanted to restore fully fledged relations with the US after strained ties with Barack Obama’s administration.

Britain’s left-leaning Guardian newspaper pulled no punches, saying the United States had elected its most dangerous leader.

“We have plenty to fear. The people of America have stepped into the abyss. The new president-elect is an unstable bigot, sexual predator and compulsive liar,” it said. “He is capable of anything.”

But in Europe, populist politicians rushed to congratulate their hero.

“The political class is reviled across much of the West, the polling industry’s bankrupt and the press just hasn’t woken up to what’s going on in the world,” Farage said.

Marine Le Pen, head of France’s far-right anti-immigration National Front, congratulated Trump and the “free American people”.

And Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor  Orban, who leads a right-wing coalition with a strong anti-immigration stance, declared: “Congratulations. What a great news. Democracy is still alive.”


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