France reacts to Trump: Brexit times 10… the world collapses

France awoke with shock on Wednesday morning to the news that the US had elected Donald Trump as its 45th president. Here's a selection of the reaction.

France reacts to Trump: Brexit times 10... the world collapses
Photo: AFP

For the second time in less than six months France has woken up to shock election result from abroad.

After the vote of the British people to quit the EU in June, it was the election of the populist billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump as president of the United States that stunned France.

The reactions from politicians and political commentators came thick and fast as the French realized this election result had global ramifications, including for France.

France's serving ambassador to the US, Gerard Araud, never one for hiding his opinions, tweeted out the “world is collapsing before our eyes” when it emerged Trump was set for victory.

The 63-year-old said: “After Brexit and this election, everything is now possible. A world is collapsing before our eyes. Dizziness.”

The tweet was apparently deleted shortly after, perhaps not surprising given that Araud and his team will have to work with Trump's government.

And he wasn't the only one in France to link Trump's victory to Brexit.

Journalist Anne Sinclair, former wife of disgraced IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said Trump's victory was a “nightmare for the world and for Europe”.

READ MORE: Americans in France left 'terrified' by Trump victory

She described the result as “Brexit times 10”.

Leading the media raction to Trump was left-leaning Liberation newspaper which had this to say.

“Trumpocalypse… Shock. A thunder bolt. And dizziness at the thought that Donald Trump will be unpacking his bags in the White House in scarcely two and a half months.

“The world's leading power is from now on in the hands of the far-right. Fifty percent of Americans voted in all conscience for a racist, lying, sexist, vulgar, hateful candidate.” 

The official reaction from the government was more balanced.

“France is an ally of the United States, we are a key partner of the US,” said French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

“We need to work together for stability and peace in the world and for a world which tackles the key issues facing it.”

President François Hollande has not yet reacted, but then he did say previously that Trump “made him want to retch.”

He is probably feeling a little worse for wear.

Those in the left in France had to digest what the result meant for them. And it wasn’t positive.

“The Left has been warned. If we continue our irresponsible childishness it will be Marine Le Pen,” said Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, the first secretary of France’s Socialist Party.

However there was a different kind of reaction among the party big wigs of the far right National Front, who have taken heart from Trump’s win.

“Congratulations Mr Trump,” said party deputy Florian Philippot. “The people will not be dictated to by an oligarchy, defeated for the second time after Brexit.

“Their world is falling. Ours is being built,” he added.




READ ALSO: French reveal what they really don't get about Americans



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France aims for US digital tax deal by late August, despite Trump opposition

France wants to reach a deal with the US on taxing tech giants by a G7 meeting in late August, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Saturday.

France aims for US digital tax deal by late August, despite Trump opposition
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire. Photo: AFP

He was responding to US President Donald Trump, who on Friday vowed “substantial” retaliation against France for a law passed this month on taxing digital companies even if their headquarters are elsewhere.

The law would affect US-based global giants like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, among others.

Trump denounced French President Emmanuel Macron's “foolishness”, though they discussed the issue by phone on Friday, according to the White House.

Macron confirmed that he had a “long” conversation with Trump, stressing the pair would “continue to work together in view of the G7”.

“We will discuss international taxation, trade and collective security”, he said Saturday.

His office earlier said Macron had told Trump that the tax on the tech giants was not just in France's interest but was something they both had a stake in.

Neither side revealed if they had also discussed Trump's threat to tax French wines in retaliation.

Le Maire took the same line at a news conference Saturday: “We wish to work closely with our American friends on a universal tax on digital activities.

“We hope between now and the end of August — the G7 heads of state meeting in Biarritz — to reach an agreement.”

Leaders of the Group of Seven highly industrialised countries are to meet in the southwestern French city on August 24-26.

Le Maire emphasised that “there is no desire to specifically target American companies,” since the three-percent tax would be levied on revenues generated from services to French consumers by all of the world's largest tech firms, including Chinese and European ones. 

But Deputy White House spokesman Judd Deere noted earlier that France's digital services tax was already the subject of an investigation at the US Trade Representative's office, potentially opening the door to economic sanctions.

“The Trump administration has consistently stated that it will not sit idly by and tolerate discrimination against US-based firms,” Deere said in a statement. 

The French law aims to plug a taxation gap that has seen some internet heavyweights paying next to nothing in European countries where they make huge profits, because their legal base is in smaller EU states.

France has said it would withdraw the tax if an international agreement was reached, and Paris hopes to include all OECD countries by the end of 2020.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is a Paris-based forum that advises the world's advanced economies.

READ ALSO: 'I like the way they look': Teetotaler Trump prefers US wine to French