22:14 GMT +318 July 2019
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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hugs a U.S. flag as he takes the stage for a campaign town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire August 19, 2015

    Fear and Loathing Spread in Scandinavia as Trump Sweeps to Victory

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    In the weeks leading up to the US presidential election, the Nordic countries made no secret of their political sympathies, with state media and top-notch politicians voicing almost unanimous support for Hillary Clinton. Today, Nordic politicians had to swallow their words and accept the defeat of their favorite.

    While all the Nordic countries relayed their official congratulations to Donald Trump for his unanticipated victory, their cordiality is underscored by a genuine concern for their future relations with the US.

    Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said that the US election result "worries a lot of individuals, as well as markets," again making no effort to conceal his sympathies.

    "I would have preferred Hillary Clinton to win, for a number of reasons. In any case, Sweden will strive to have good relations with the US," Löfven told Swedish national broadcaster SVT.

    Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström admitted to SVT that she felt "great uncertainty" about what a Trump presidency would mean for Sweden and the world. "There are rather extravagant statements about one thing and the other. Everything from building a wall against Mexico to security politics," Wallström said.

    "I want to congratulate Donald Trump on his election victory," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said at a press conference in Oslo, adding that she was happy that Trump in his acceptance speech pointed out the need for "working together." However, Solberg also admitted that it was difficult to predict how the new president will change the US, as Trump's election campaign gave out no clues about that.

    Even if Trump's statements created some uncertainty about the future of US involvement in the NATO military alliance, Erna Solberg chose to downplay these concerns.

    "I believe that it is in America's interest to maintain NATO cooperation, and so it is in our own interest as well. Since our interests coincide, I think we will see continued, good cooperation within NATO," Solberg said, as quoted by Norwegian daily Verdens Gang.

    Finnish President Sauli Niinistö congratulated Trump and pledged to immediately initiate cooperation with the new US administration. Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä stressed the importance of the Free Trade Agreement, which "is still lying on the table," Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.

    Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen pointed out the importance of TTIP on his Twitter account, which is currently being negotiated between the EU and the US, despite the fact that Donald Trump had repeatedly spoken out against free trade. Nevertheless, Løkke Rasmussen expressed hope that the US will keep up the open and constructive cooperation.

    ​Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, a renowned hawk and a loyal US ally in his own right, urged his followers on Twitter to "fasten seatbelts."

    ​The Nordic parties, which are generally more left-leaning than their counterparts in mainland Europe, did not even try to conceal their disappointment.

    "These are terrible and frightening results, of which we currently cannot see all the consequences. We have a climate change denier as US president," Mogens Lykketoft of the Danish Social Democratic Party said, as quoted by Swedish media outlet Nytt från Öresund.

    Annie Lööf, the leader of the Swedish Centre Party, lamented the spread of populism. "I'm saddened and very worried. There's a big knot in my stomach right now," she was quoted as saying by the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

    In the Nordic media, Trump has previously generally been labeled as "hate-monger" and a "chauvinist" with "dictatorial ways." Most notably, the Nordic countries were distressed by Trump's repeated pledges to mend fences with Russia, which for many Nordic authors remains evil personified.
    Ebba Busch Thor of the Swedish Christian Democrats admitted to "having awoken to a troubled world," and voiced the chronic Swedish fear of Russia, saying that Trump is likely to be "tested" by Vladimir Putin in the White House, the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reported.

    In Sweden, Trump's victory is feared to possibly pave the way for anti-immigration movements, of which the local Sweden Democrats, very much political outcasts in their own country, are perhaps the most vivid example. Remarkably, Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson admitted that he had not been particularly impressed with either Trump or Clinton.

    Topic:
    Donald Trump Elected 45th US President (281)

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    Jimmie Åkesson, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Juha Sipila, Sauli Niinistö, Erna Solberg, Margot Wallström, Stefan Löfven, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Scandinavia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden
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