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Rightwing Populists First to Congratulate Trump on Historic Victory

Around the world, nationalists and far-right leaders react with glee as Republican candidate wins US election


Far-right and rightwing nationalist leaders were the first to congratulate Donald Trump, as diplomats struggled to come to terms with the US election results.

France

<figcaption>Marine Le Pen, leader of Front National, welcomed the result. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images</figcaption>
Marine Le Pen, leader of Front National, welcomed the result. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National welcomed the results claiming they heralded a new world. Le Pen, who is running for president next spring, had long said Trump’s politics were in French interests, and congratulated the “free” American people.

Le Pen’s most senior strategist, Florian Philippot, tweeted: “Their world is collapsing. Ours is being built.”

Hungary

Viktor Orbán, the hardline nationalist leader of Hungary, said Trump’s victory was great news. “Democracy is still alive,” said a post on his Facebook page.

Germany

Frauke Petry, the lead of Germany’s rightwing populist Alternative für Deutschland, said the result was “encouraging” as it could herald a political sea-change in Europe too.

She said: “It was high time that in the United States of America, people who feel disaffected withdrew their vote for the political establishment. Whilst 93% of voters in Washington DC voted for Clinton and in so doing for the retention of their own power structures, the majority of voters across the country want a political new beginning, an economic recovery for the stricken middle class and an end of division in what is still the most powerful country in the world.”

Petry added: “This election result is encouraging for Germany and for Europe, because Trump really has the cards for political sea-change in his hand. I congratulate Donald Trump on his election victory and on this historic chance.

“We all need to use this together to reshape the transatlantic relationship, and to end the big conflicts in Ukraine and Syria together with Russia. It is our task to guard freedom, democracy, and the rule of law on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Like Americans, citizens of Germany must have the courage to put a tick in the ballot box and not remain resigned at home. Their own opinion counts, even if political correctness would appear to have elevated the decreed consensus to the level of a new doctrine.”

Greece

Golden Dawn, the party seen as Europe’s most virulent far-right force, applauded Trump’s triumph as a victory against America’s political and economic establishment – predicting that similar insurgencies would follow in Europe.

Calling the surprise win a cause for “deep depression” amongst opponents, the neo-nazi organisation immediately sought to capitalise on it.

“A great global change is starting,” declared the group, Greece’s third largest parliamentary party. “[It] will continue with nationalists prevailing in Austria, Marie Le Pen in France and Golden Dawn in Greece.”

Born of the rage against foreign-imposed austerity – the price Greece has had to pay for international rescue from bankruptcy – Golden Dawn has seen its support reinvigorated by Greece’s frontline role in the refugee crisis.

“Golden Dawn was the only political force in Greece that endorsed Trump’s candidacy because of his views on illegal migration,” it said. “This was a victory for the forces which oppose globalisation, are fighting illegal migration and are in favour of clean ethnic states,” added the far rightists, cheering the US president elect’s desire to see an improvement in relations with Russia, a country whose policies the party strongly supports.

Austria

Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of Austria’s rightwing populist Freedom party congratulated the US president elect via his Facebook feed. He wrote:

“Bit by bit, the political left and the out-of-touch and corrupt establishment is being punished by voters and driven from the seats of power. That’s a good thing, because the law comes from the people.”

“Once again Austrian mainstream media, which has been campaigning against Trump for weeks and prematurely declared Hillary Clinton the victor were embarrassed by the voting public.”

Strache also attacked Alexander Van der Bellen, the Green-endorsed rival to the Freedom party’s Norbert Hofer in next month’s presidential elections: “Van der Bellen, who has officially and publicly attacked and insulted the newly elected US president Trump in the run-up, damages our country and is unelectable!”

Netherlands

The Dutch far-right leader and MP Geert Wilders expressed his jubilation after the early wins for Trump.

Italy

Trump’s victory gave a boost to the country’s rightwing and populist parties just weeks before a critical referendum on the constitution that will determine the fate of Italy’s centre-left prime minister, Matteo Renzi.

Beppe Grillo, the former comedian and the leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, had not formally endorsed Trump, but in a blogpost after the results were in was full of praise for his unexpected win, which he said had proven that journalists and intellectuals were the true “demagogues” who were “anchored to a world that no longer exists”.

Grillo also pointed out Trump had been called sexist, homophobic, and populist, much like the Five Star Movement, but that the establishment had failed to realise that people no longer read newspapers and did not watch television for news. The real heroes, he said, were the misfits and the failures that were driving the tandem movements, sending a big “fuck you” to the freemasons, major banks, and Chinese groups.

Other of Renzi’s political opponents also saw Trump’s win as a sign of what was to come in Italy. “Matteo Renzi today is politically finished, is a dead man walking,” said Francesco Boccia, the head of the Forza Italia party previously led by Silvio Berlusconi.

United Kingdom

Ukip’s interim leader, Nigel Farage, hailed what he described as a revolution in America that had eclipsed the referendum vote to leave the European Union.

The US-based British historian Simon Schama said the result was a “calamity for democracy” that would “hearten fascists all over the world”. He also called for a Churchillian figure to mount a fightback.

Brendan Cox, the husband of the killed Labour MP Jo Cox, said she would have reacted with defiance to a Trump victory:

The Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman, Tom Brake, tweeted:



Source: The Guardian
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