MALTESE prime minister Joseph Muscat has attacked US President Donald Trump and warned Europe will not be “trampled on”.
Mr Muscat, whose country holds the current six months rotating Presidency of the Council of Europe, said there was real “concern” among leaders of the bloc over some of Donald Trump’s decisions and attitudes.
He said they would not be afraid to speak out if they do not agree with the policies being pursued by the pro-Brexit Republican President.
Billionaire Mr Trump has made clear he believes Britain would be “better off” without the EU and that migration had lead to major problems.
Mr Muscat said bloc leaders were unhappy with the stance taken by the new US government but agreed it was time the EU would “lead at a global level”.
He said: “Obviously, there was concern among the EU28 on some decisions that are being taken by the new US administration and also some attitudes that are being adopted by this administration.
“Nevertheless, there was no sense of anti-Americanism.
“There was a sense that we need to engage with the United States just the same, but that we need to show… that we cannot stay silent where there are principles involved.
“As in any good relationship, we will speak very clearly where we think that those principles are being trampled on.”
French President Francois Hollande also hit out at Mr Trump, particularly following his decision to welcome Brexit and after he dismissed the EU as a “vehicle for Germany”.
Mr Hollande said: “We are partners. There should be some respect.
“We did not build Europe against the US. He should not get involved in what the life of the EU is.
“He can have an opinion, but it is up to Europe to decide how it wants to be and how it should live.”
He also added even if the US President “does not see the same way” on climate change, Europe will forge ahead with the Paris climate change goals.
Mr Hollande also hit out at the suggestion Britain could act as a bridge between the EU and US.
“Of course it is not about asking on particular country, be it the UK or any other, to represent Europe in its relationship with the United States.
“For European relations with the US, it is Europe which does that.”
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