Germany’s first governmental response to President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday came from Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel during an interview with public broadcaster ZDF. Instead of offering a congratulatory tone, Gabriel instead used his time to pick apart Trump’s inauguration speech and policies expected to come in the first weeks or months in office.
“prepare for a rough ride”
Gabriel told ZDF that the German government has to “prepare for a rough ride” and that he believes “bad radicalization” is to blame for Trump’s victory.
While there are expected changes to occur on a global level, Gabriel shifted focus to an issue that will hit close to home for the country. When talking about the Trump administration’s call to impose a 35 percent border tax on BMW cars built in Mexico and exported to the US, Gabriel commented that Trump “means it extremely seriously”.
“What we heard today were high nationalistic tones”
At one point in the interview, Gabriel spoke on President Trump’s speech on Friday, calling reference to terms Hitler used before coming into power and discrediting the parliamentary democracy of the 1920s Weimar Republic, saying: “What we heard today were high nationalistic tones.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not made any official statements following the swearing in of Donald Trump, but officials from her office told Reuters on Friday that she hopes for a spring visit between the two leaders.