European politicians have said that Donald Trump’s election victory in the U.S. will act as a catalyst for a revolution across Europe.
Prospective leaders across the continent say that the crumbling European project is set to be shaken up with major changes as various elections are due to be held in the coming year.
A number of ‘Trump-style’ moments are set for Europe this year. Starting with the Austrian presidential re-run and Italian constitutional referendum on December 4, 12 elections follow in a year.
Romanian general elections will be run on December 11. The Netherlands votes in March, French Presidential elections will be held in late April-beginning of May.
Germany in September, Czech Republic in October. Plus local elections in Germany and several presidential elections.
And the populist candidates are already sensing victory.
Immediately after Trump was declared 45th president of the USA Marine Le Pen said: “Nothing is immutable. What has happened this night is not the end of the world, it’s the end of a world.”
Even more pertinently Le Pen’s chief strategist Florian Philippot tweeted: “Their world is collapsing, ours is being built.”
Sounding a more sombre tone former French prime minister, Dominique de Villepin said: “What’s happening in the US could happen in France.”
And yet another former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin added: “The boundaries of reason disappeared with Brexit, the main lesson for France is that Le Pen can win.”
Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine Le Pen’s father and the founder of the French Front National, said: “Today the United States, tomorrow France.”
Mr Trump has promised to renegotiate America’s trade deals and has threatened to pull the US out of the World Trade Organisation.
He has also threatened tariffs on imports from Mexico and China, which experts fear could raise domestic inflation and affect European exporters.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already projected the growth of the eurozone GDP to decrease to 1.5 percent next year and that estimate was with the US economy picking up.
A former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson said: “Trump’s trade-led recession would trip Europe back into full-blown recession, which would likely precipitate a serious banking crisis.
“If this risk were not contained and the probability of a European banking debacle is already disconcertingly high, there would be a further negative spiral.”
Economists at Moody’s rating agency estimate that if Mr Trump does what he says he will, it is likely to trigger a recession and shrink the economy losing 3.5 million jobs and increasing the unemployment rate from five per cent to seven per cent by 2020.
The deputy director of European Reform, Simon Tilford, said: “You clearly see a scenario where instead of moderating Trump, the House and the Senate fall behind him, and there the implications for Europe could be pretty serious.”
The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “There are many questions yet to be answered.”
French president, Francois Hollande, said: “Certain positions taken by Donald Trump during the American campaign must be confronted.
“What is at stake is peace, the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East. It is economic relations and the preservation of the planet.”
European foreign ministers are set to meet on Sunday to asses Mr Trump’s election victory will have on transatlantic relations.