Pope fears Trump’s populism

Pope fears Trump’s populism

Pope Francis is not afraid of getting involved in politics. Source: Flickr

Pope Francis has warned against a rise in populism and the dangers of allowing political crises to allow tyrants to take power.

Speaking to El Pais after Donald Trump’s inaugurated, the pontiff condemned the use of walls to keep foreigners out, adding that “we’ll see what Trump does”.

He warned about the rise of populism.

The Pope said: “Crises provoke fear, alarm. In my opinion, the most obvious example of European populism is Germany in 1933.

“Germany is broken, it needs to get up, to find its identity, a leader, someone capable of restoring its character, and there is a young man named Adolf Hitler who says: ‘I can, I can’.

“And all Germans vote for Hitler. Hitler didn’t steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people.

“I don’t like to get ahead of myself nor judge people prematurely. We will see how [Trump] acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion,” Francis added.

The Pope and Trump publicly disagreed during the presidential campaign, with the Pope appearing to question Trump’s Christian belief over his promise to build a wall along the Mexican border.

In Germany, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned of a “drastic radicalisation” in US politics and said Germany stood ready to fill the void left by an isolationist administration in Washington. The only thing missing was a denunciation of parliament as a “gossip chamber”, he added, using a term that the Nazis applied to German institutions in the 1920s.

Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has said turbulent times would follow Trump into the Oval Office.

“With the election of Donald Trump, the world of the 20th century has definitely been overtaken,” Steinmeier wrote in the Bild am Sonntag.

Steinmeier has been the German government’s strongest critic of Trump.

He had earlier warned that US relations with Germany would become “more difficult”.

“In these times of fresh global disorder this will go further…there is a lot at stake,” he wrote in the mass circulation newspaper.

But Steinmeier said he would hold talks with the Trump administration and outline “our position, our values and our interests”.

Steinmeier said he was “certain to find interlocutors in Washington who know that big countries also need partners”.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she would tell Trump how important Nato and the European Union were for European and world stability, with no apparent sense of irony as she tries to pull Britain from the bloc. “With the threats we face, it’s not the time for less cooperation,” said May, who is planning to travel to Washington soon.

 

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