Saturday, February 04, 2017

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy supports Mexico against Trump

Spain's conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy telephoned Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto this past week to express his support for Peña Nieto and Mexico in the current diplomatic crisis with the United States under Trump. (Respalda Rajoy a Peña ante embestida de Trump La Jornada 01.02.2017)

Surprisingly, the Mexican peso has risen in value in the two weeks since Trump's Inauguration, after having fallen sharply after the US Presidential election. (El peso mexicano es la moneda que más se aprecia desde la llegada de Trump a la Casa Blanca El País 03.02.2017) Ironically, as of the El País report, that makes the peso the currency that has risen the most of any in the world in the first two weeks of the Trump Family Business Administration. This eases for the moment fears of the inflationary effects of the peso's pre-Inauguration drop and of the negative effect it could have on Mexico's debt ratio.

With the United States following an anti-EU policy right now, it makes good realist sense for the EU countries to make common cause with Mexico in its confrontation with Trump. (Javier Casqueiro, Rajoy ofrece a Peña Nieto ayuda para un arreglo justo y sensato ante la coyuntura actual El País 01.02.2017)

Pere Ortega sees the Trumpist Muslim ban of last week targeted to seven nations as a warning of a war-oriented foreign policy, saying Trump's policies "amenazan la convivencia y la paz mundial" ("threaten coexistence and the peace of the world"): (El militarismo de Donald Trump Público 31.01.2017. Oretega reminds us that Trump promised a big military buildup during the campaign. He is concerned about the dubious results that may be expected of cooperation between the US and Russia on fighting jihadists in the Middle East. He warns that the result could be:

... mucho más peligroso, las guerras se pueden incrementar, el yihadismo terrorista ser más virulento. Aparte de otras cuestiones no menores: negar el cambio climático y aumentar las emisiones de CO2; no [a]poyar a Naciones Unidas; aumentar las violaciones de derechos humanos como autorizar la tortura y la xenofobia. Malos tiempos para la paz.

[... much more dangerous, wars could grow, terrorist jihadism could be more violent. Apart from other questions on less important: denying climate change and increasing the emissions of CO2; not supporting the United Nations; increasing violations of human rights such as authorizing torture and by xenophobia.]
Der Spiegel ran a striking cover in its most recent issue:

The English translation of the cover story will be published soon apparently, The Pain of a Donald Trump Presidency Spiegel International 02/04/2017.

The article gives a lot of attention to some of the deplorables around the new President: Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Jared Kushner, Kellyanne "alternative facts" Conway, Michael Flynn. The authors (Markus Becker et al) write, "Sie sind keine Republikaner, sie sind Trumpisten. Sie sind keine Konservativen, sie sind Nationalisten. Bannon ist ihr Ideologe. Der vielleicht klügste – sicher der gefährlichste." (They aren't Republicans, they are Trumpists. They are not conservatives, they are nationalists. Bannon is their ideologue. Perhaps they most clever - certainly the most dangerous.")

Another deplorable may soon join the team as Ambassador to the European Union, Ted Malloch. EU leaders are not thrilled at the prospect, as Daniel Boffey reports (European parliament leaders call on EU to reject Trump's likely ambassador pick Guardian 02/02/2017):

In a startling move that threatens a major diplomatic row, the leaders of the conservative, socialist and liberal groups in Brussels have written to the European commission and the European council, whose members represent the 28 EU states, to reject the appointment of Ted Malloch. ...

When recently asked by the BBC why he was interested in moving to Brussels, Malloch replied: “I had in a previous career a diplomatic post where I helped bring down the Soviet Union. So maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming.”

He also said that Trump was not a fan of the EU, described it as “supranational and unelected” and attacked the European commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker. “Mr Juncker was a very adequate mayor I think of some city in Luxembourg, and maybe he should go back and do that again,” he said.
Aljazeera's Big Picture has a documentary called "The Making And Breaking Of Europe," which recounts the history of the EU with particularly emphasis on the trends that eventually developed into the xenophobia we still in European politics today, Part 1:

Part 2:

The second part is very good on describing how Angela Merkel's Herbert Hoover/Heinrich Brüning austerity policies toward Greece in particular contributed a great deal to the rise of nationalism and nationalist hatreds within the EU.

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