Donald Trump is putting 'unacceptable' pressure on the EU, warns François Hollande

'It is unacceptable that there should be, through a certain number of statements by the president of the United States, pressure on what Europe should or should not be,' says Mr Hollande

May Bulman
Friday 03 February 2017 18:10
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Mr Hollande says the US President is putting an 'unacceptable' strain on what Europe 'should or should not be'
Mr Hollande says the US President is putting an 'unacceptable' strain on what Europe 'should or should not be'

French president François Hollande has said Donald Trump is putting “unacceptable” levels of pressure on the EU.

The French Socialist Party leader said the US President was putting strain on what Europe “should or should not be”, adding that there appears to be an element of uncertainty as to what Mr Trump “really wants”.

Speaking to reporters at a summit of EU leaders in Malta on Friday, Mr Hollande said: “It is unacceptable that there should be, through a certain number of statements by the president of the United States, pressure on what Europe should or should not be.

“Who really knows what the US President wants, particularly for the transatlantic alliance, and on the sharing of expenses that he calls a burden.”

The US President has questioned the foundations of transatlantic relations and openly rooted for the dissolution of the EU, as well as repeatedly disregarding NATO as obsolete.

In an interview with the Sunday Times and Germany’s Bild, Mr Trump disparaged the EU, saying, “I don’t really care whether it’s separate or together, to me it doesn’t matter,” adding that the bloc was “basically a vehicle for Germany.”

It is not the first time Mr Hollande has expressed concern about Mr Trump's presidency and disdain towards the billionaire businessman as an individual.

Following the US election last November, the French President said the shock result “opened a period of uncertainty” that must be met with lucidity and clarity, and prior to the Republican's election victory he said Mr Trump made him “want to retch”.

Mr Hollande's latest remarks echo warnings from leaders within the EU, who have also warned of the threat the new US President poses to the bloc. European Council president Donald tusk warned in an open letter to EU leaders on Tuesday that “worrying declarations by the new American administration” put the future of Europe in jeopardy.

The EU Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt meanwhile warned EU leaders that putting the future organisation of Europe on nationalist ideas adopted by Mr Trump was the "most stupid thing" they could do.

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