TUSK GORES TRUMP IN CLASH OF THE DONALDS
Donald Tusk today placed his namesake President Trump in the rogues’ gallery of EU bogeymen, alongside the likes of Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan.
“Worrying declarations by the new American administration all make our future highly unpredictable,” wrote Tusk, who identified the US as a “threat” to the EU.
“We must stand up very clearly for our dignity, the dignity of a united Europe – regardless of whether we are talking to Russia, China, the US or Turkey.”
Tusk’s unpresidented – sorry unprecedented – broadside signals a hardening of EU attitudes towards the US, at least at the institutional level.
Turkey, despite its hosting of millions of refugees, is regularly criticised over its human rights record. China’s huge population and endless reserves of cash has long been seen as a threat to the competitiveness of Europe’s economy. Russia is demonised as the untrustworthy, unscrupulous neighbour that illegally annexed Crimea.
Tusk said that the turbulent first 11 days of the Trump presidency had called the last 70 years of American foreign policy into question.
The rebuke was sparked by Trump’s controversial travel ban and anti-EU posturing. His team expects other countries to follow Britain and quit the bloc. The man tipped to be the next US ambassador to the EU has compared it to the Soviet Union.
The US, so long a close ally, is now cooling its heels in the bloc’s basket of deplorables. It’s almost certain Trump couldn’t care less.
Tusk, his jaw grimly set as he warmed to the task, bellowed, “Let us show our European pride.”
“Objectively speaking, there is no reason why Europe and its leaders should pander to external powers and their rulers.”
Whether EU leaders answer Tusk’s rallying call or leave him in the lurch remains to be seen. But, for many member states, there are plenty of objective reasons to cosy up to even the most distateful foreign leaders.
Donald Trump is notoriously thin-skinned and quick to react to criticism, especially on Twitter. So we tweeted him Tusk’s stern words. If Trump takes the bait we will let you know…
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In such uncertain times it is important to take time to enjoy the good things in life. Like this story about Tinder for orangutans.
LOOK OUT FOR…
The European Commission will launch its second State of the Energy Union report tomorrow. Trump’s former climate advisor Myron Ebell will give the keynote at the ACRE’s Blue Green Summit tomorrow. In London today, Ebell said Trump would “definitely” pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
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