What to expect from Trump?

In his first week in office Trump has withdrawn the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and begun the process of dismantling the "Obamacare" healthcare reform. In his inaugural address the new US president called for a new sense of national pride. Some journalists praise Trump for making good on his campaign pledges. Others criticise his apparent lack of commitment to democracy and human rights.

Open/close all quotes
Dimokratia (GR) /

Finally a believable president

With Donald Trump for once a US president is keeping his election promises, Dimokratia writes approvingly:

“Once every few decades a charismatic figure turns up who really means what they say and does what they have promised to do. ... Trump is such a man. His first days in the White House have shown just that. He spoke directly to the hearts of the true, sound, strong America, without all the unnecessary claptrap about political correctness and pseudo-politeness. He said that he wanted to cut spending, reduce the debt, slash taxes, take his country out of unprofitable international trade deals and establish special, privileged relations with Britain, a country that is preparing to leave the German-dominated EU. And he's doing all of that, without hesitating.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

Human rights not a priority for Trump

In his inaugural address Trump referred to the fight against Islamist terror but, much to the delight of all authoritarian rulers, democracy doesn't seem to be a priority for the new president, Hürriyet Daily News observes:

“It thus seems that his approach will not address the root causes of terrorism - related to social, economic and democratic deficiencies - especially in the less developed parts of the world, as his sole reference was to the fight against 'radical Islamic terror.' In contrast with his predecessors, even Republican ones, Trump avoided highlighting core universal values like democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms in his first major statement as U.S. president, suggesting that these principles will no longer be components of U.S. foreign policy. ... The new Trump administration’s reluctance to prioritize democracy in its foreign policy may allow Trump to pursue a more direct and straight relationship with scores of undemocratic countries, but it is sure to cause more damage to U.S. interests in the long run.”

Aamulehti (FI) /

First executive orders worrying

Trump looks set to continue with the populist course he pursued while campaigning, Aamulehti fears:

“The really surprising thing about the speech was the idea that now power has been given back to the people. It's true that inequality was a problem, and that the economic growth of recent years has made America's rich even richer. Nevertheless the spectacle of a billionaire coming to the Capitol, taking power and declaring that all the problems are the fault of the former leadership is completely absurd. ... There are still those who believe he'll change his style. ... But the new president's first steps since taking office include two measures that are perhaps more worrying than the speech itself. He announced that he would abolish Obama's healthcare reform and had the page on climate change taken off the White House website.”

The Independent (GB) /

The president will disappoint his voters

Many of the new US president's promises are simply impossible to implement, The Independent is convinced:

“Governing a nation of 300m people is an immensely complex and difficult business. Significant change takes years of application to bring about. Most of Mr Trump’s supporters know this, and are prepared to wait a while. But he is bound to disappoint them, not least because his espousal of protectionism is bad economics. Then he will find that he needs a wider circle of allies than he has acquired so far. Magnanimity in victory is not just good manners, it is good politics.”

Club Z (BG) /

The courage to implement the right reforms

The change of course that Trump will introduce in American politics will ultimately satisfy even his opponents, Club Z believes:

“The US is on the brink of enormous social and economic change, and Trump is supported by the majority of Americans. Even the left wing of the Democratic Party that backed the socialist Bernie Sanders is no doubt secretly happy about Trump, because much of his programme is progressive. He wants to build, to create thousands of new jobs, and to give those who have already lost hope access to the labour market. Foreign commentators call Trump's policy isolationist. ... But the new president has already made it clear that the US won't leave its partners in the lurch. Rather it will simply stop trying to export democracy. ... Trump is right when he says that the US has played the role of Big Brother for too long.”

Forum.tm (HR) /

The left should embrace Trump

Instead of right-wing populism Forum.tm sees a liberal and left-leaning message in Trump's inaugural address:

“In his inaugural address he stressed that the US doesn't want to impose the 'American way of life' on anyone but to be a 'shining example' for others to follow (naturally, only if they want to). And then he said something that will seem incomprehensible to right-wingers and neo-fascists across Europe who (falsely) see him as one of their own: 'When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.' … Every liberal-minded left-winger in the world should in fact endorse what Donald Trump said.”

Público (PT) /

How Europe must react now

After Trump's inaugural address it's clear that the EU definitely needs to take measures to ensure its survival, Público demands:

“In order to counter Trump the EU must preserve its unity. … This will require mass mobilisation on the part of the citizens to defend the common values which are under threat from Trump and his right-wing extremist allies in Europe. … Perhaps the most complex challenge will be the relationship with Putin and his aggressive policy. … An honest but critical policy of openness towards Moscow is important, even if it isn't easy. And finally: the European security and defence project must be put into practice through a Franco-Germany initiative and include an open perspective towards Turkey. For this the military and diplomatic capabilities of the UK will be necessary - and this must definitely be taken into account in the Brexit negotiations.”