The initial reactions to the prospect of the Republican candidate Donald Trump’s victory in the race for the White House, appeared on Twitter this morning. In particular, the Minister-President for the Walloon region, Paul Magnette tweeted “When Le Pen congratulates Trump, that says it all. The future’s bleak.”
Around 4 a.m. the Walloon Minister-President had already published a tweet with a note of hope, “The worst is never an absolute certainty.”
Whilst Trump’s victory in the presidential election became increasingly apparent, Mr Magnette reacted to the congratulations offered to Trump by the leader of the French National Front, Marine Le Pen.
She had tweeted, “Congratulations to the new President of the USA, Donald Trump, and to the American people, now a free nation!”
The Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Rudy Demotte, also reacted on Twitter.
He commented, “It makes you sick: #USA seems to have embarked upon a disastrous path.”
Several Belgian deputies made their horror known.
The deputy and President of the French-speaking parliament, Christos Doulkeridis, in Brussels-Capital said, “Just at the moment, I would advise all of those who are able to not to bother waking up this morning.” Re-tweeting his message, the Senate president, Christine Defraigne, added, “Too late, I am awake. The nightmare is born.”
Others, such as Vlaams Belang (the right-wing populist and nationalist party) and the Brussels deputy, Alain Destexhe (MR), on the other hand, congratulated both Trump and the American people.
The President of the PS, Elio Di Rupo, reacted in a communiqué, “It is America’s democratic choice as we have witnessed. However, it is extremely worrying for the rest of the world and for the unity of the American people.”
He went on, “This unexpected result should sharpen the minds of all European political leaders. Clearly the populist discourse of hatred far outweighs a political plan which was intended to bring America together. This shows that too many American citizens feel neglected and victims of an economic system, which is not fairly distributing the fruits of globalisation and financial activity.”
The Walloon Minister-President, moreover, reacted to the proposals of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Didier Reynders. The latter saw in Trump’s victory and Wallonia’s CETA critics, the same temptation towards inward-looking attitudes. “That attitude does not allow for sensible discussion,” Paul Magnette, again writing on Twitter, noted.