Trump makes Europe ‘retch’
Donald Trump is uniting Europe, in condemnation. Source: Flickr
German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has condemned Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump as a “hate preacher” who plays on people’s fears.
He compared the tycoon turned politician to other right-wing populists who “make politics with fear”.
Steinmeier compared Germany’s Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany, the campaigners for Britain’s Leave vote from the European Union and “hate preachers, like Donald Trump at the moment in the USA”.
Polls show Trump trailing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of the still-distant November election.
Steinmeier, a member of the centre-left junior party in Germany’s governing coalition, has criticised Trump in the past.
French President Francois Hollande said the presidential nominee made him nauseous.
“His excesses make you want to retch, even in the United States, especially when as was Donald Trump’s case he speaks ill of a soldier, of the memory of a soldier,” Hollande said.
Trump criticised Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of US Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart after he was killed in Iraq in 2004.
Hollande said: “Democracy is also at stake, as we see more and more people tempted by authoritarianism.
“Should the American people choose Trump, there will be consequences, because a US election is a global election.”
On relations with Turkey, Steinmeier said talks were strained after July 15’s bungled coup and Turkey’s subsequent crackdown on thousands of citizens.
“There is virtually no basis for discussions at the moment,” he said. Turkey has said Berlin failed to take the coup attempt seriously and Germany has expressed concerns about mass arrests and sackings.
Steinmeier said reinstating the death penalty in Turkey would prevent its entry to the EU.
Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said he would seek to have talks formally closed at a meeting of EU leaders next month. “We know the democratic standards in Turkey are nowhere near good enough to justify a candidacy for EU membership,” Kern told Austrian television. “I see Turkish accession as an impossibility for years, if not for decades.”
Ankara reacted furiously, accusing Kern of “far-right” rhetoric. “It’s disturbing that his statements are similar to those of the far right,” said Omer Celik, Turkey’s minister for EU affairs. “Criticism is surely a democratic right but there has to be a difference between criticising Turkey and being against Turkey.”