Merkel “angry” and “sad” to see “attackers and rioters” storming the U.S. Capitol building.
European leaders and the mainstream media on the other side of the Atlantic came out in unison to condemn the violence in the Capitol Hill. The leaders of the three leading European powers, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, found the harshest words to criticize pro-Trump protesters responsible for the mayhem.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who previously cheered the U.S. Black Lives Matter protests, slammed the Capitol Hill incident in the sharpest terms. Merkel was “angry and also sad” to see “attackers and rioters” storming the U.S. Capitol building, she said. “I regret very much that President Trump has still not admitted defeat, but has kept raising doubts about the elections,” she complained.
German President Walter Steinmeier accused the U.S. president of personally “attacking the heart of the democracy.” He described the rioters as an “armed mob, spurred on by the [U.S.] president.”
Germany’s state-run and mainstream media, opposed to President Trump’s domestics and foreign policy from the day one, was equally livid over the events unfolding in the Washington, DC.
“The end of his time in power can’t come soon enough,” the German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle lamented in an editorial. Germany’s most-read political weekly Der Spiegel echoed the sentiment with an editorial titled “Why Every Passing Day [with] Trump [in power] Hurts the U.S.”.
Sharp condemnations also came from other European and EU leaders.
Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 6, 2021
German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the European reaction to the events:
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the images from Washington DC showed a contempt for democracy.
“The enemies of democracy will rejoice at these inconceivable images from #WashingtonDC,” he tweeted. “Seditious words turn to violent actions — on the steps of the Reichstag, and now in the #Capitol. Contempt for democratic institutions has devastating effects.”
“Trump and his supporters should finally accept the decision of the American voters and stop trampling democracy underfoot,” Maas added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the scenes in the US capital a “disgrace,” and called for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
French President Emmanuel Macron responded to Wednesday’s violence at the US Capitol, saying he has confidence in the strength of democracy in the US.
“What happened in Washington is not American,” Macron said in a short video speech posted on Twitter. (…)
European Union leaders such as Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel also took to Twitter to condemn the unrest, while urging a peaceful transformation of power.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven condemned the attacks on the Capitol. “President Trump and many members of Congress bear significant responsibility for what’s now taking place.
The democratic process of electing a president must be respected,” he said. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the “shocking scenes” from the US capital, saying the outcome of the presidential election must be upheld.
The US Congress is a temple of democracy.
To witness tonight’s scenes in #WashingtonDC is a shock.
We trust the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to @JoeBiden
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) January 6, 2021
The BBC covered the response of other European leaders:
In Europe, a chorus of leaders condemned the scenes in Washington as an attack on democracy.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said: “I have trust in the strength of US democracy. The new presidency of Joe Biden will overcome this tense stage, uniting the American people.” (…)
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven described the incident as “worrying” and said it was “an assault on democracy”.
Top EU leaders have also made their views known. European Council President Charles Michel said he trusted the US “to ensure a peaceful transfer of power” to Mr Biden, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she looked forward to working with the Democrat, who “won the election”.
“Donald Trump has disgraced tradition and that will be his lasting legacy,” Thursday’s editorial in the London Times declared.
The left-wing British newspaper Guardian called rioters “Trump’s footsoldiers.” The U.S. president “has been prepared to wreak carnage on the political system that elevated him to the most powerful office,” the newspaper commented.
The leading French newspaper Le Monde commented on the events with the headline “The Last Rampages of Donald Trump.”
The Spanish daily El Mundo ran an editorial titled: “This is How Democracy Dies.” The newspaper accused the U.S. president of having “contempt for democratic institutions and constant[ly] resort[ing] to insult, lies and harassments of the media.”
The Dutch-language daily De Volkskrant compared the pro-Trump demonstrators to a “Frankenstein monster” which possesses the “willingness to use force.”
By creating the mayhem on the Capitol Hill, the pro-Trump rioters have played right into the hands of the European political elite and the mainstream media, who have long tried to define the anti-establishment movement which emerged with the 2016 Brexit vote by its worst aberrations on the right.DONATE
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