President François Hollande of France endorsed the candidacy of presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton. Writing in an article that was published today in France’s Les Echos newspaper, the French leader likened Republican Donald Trump’s statements about immigration policy to the invective used by nativist groups in Europe.
Hollande wrote that “the best thing the Democrats can do is to get Hillary Clinton elected.” The socialist Hollande said that a Trump presidency “would complicate relations between Europe and the U.S.," while adding that this would be dangerous.
Nationalist sentiments are afoot in France, as they are in some of Trump’s statements in which he has called for an awakening of “Americanism.” Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French National Front party recently called for France to emulate the United Kingdom and leave the European Union.
Holland compared Trump’s stated policies on immigration, border security, and a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US, to rhetoric commonly used by Le Pen and European nationalists. Hollande wrote that Trump’s “slogans are barely different from the extreme right in Europe and in France,” while accusing the presumptive Republican nominee of inciting “fear of waves of immigrants, the stigmatization of Islam, the questioning of representative democracy and the denunciation of elites." It is Trump’s wealth, said Hollande, that "is the most obvious representation" of that which he denounces.
Nigel Farage, a member of the European Parliament and the leader of the Independent Party of the United Kingdom, said this week that Trump would be better for Britain than Hillary Clinton. Farage is one of the two personalities that led that movement to leave the European Union. However, so far no other European national leaders have publicly expressed support for any of the American presidential candidates.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.