Updated February 21st, 2024 at 17:57 IST

'European Union Is A Disaster,' Says Trump at South Carolina Town Hall Event

“I'm for here [United States ], and they're for their country [Europe] and they are for their country and I don't blame them for big," said Trump.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Ex US President Donald Trump. | Image:AP
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Former US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that “European Union is a disaster,” as he accused the former German Chancellor Angela Merkel of destroying Germany even as he “liked her.” Speaking at the South Carolina Townhall on February 20, the 2024 GOP frontrunner, launched scathing attacks at Europe in reference to the global trade relations and the US economy at the Greenville event.

“The European Union is a disaster,” Trump said. “I said to Angela Merkel, before she left, before she destroyed Germany – and she did a bad number in Germany. I will tell you... and I liked her,” he added.

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Furthermore, the former US President explained, “I'm for here [United States ], and they're for their country [Europe] and they are for their country and I don't blame them for big. But I said ‘Angela how many Chevrolets do we have in the middle of Munich. She said ‘why I don't believe any’ and I said that's right... and it's not fair.”

EU is ‘our foe’: Trump as then US President

Trump, while in office as President, often slammed the European Union’s “brutal” trade policies towards the United States, and on one occasion during an interview at his golf club in Scotland called EU a “foe.” Clubbing the European Union as an enemy alongside Russia and China, Trump said in an interview segment, “I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.” When pressed why he believed that the EU was an enemy, Trump elaborated that it “doesn’t mean they’re bad,” but that it just means that they are “competitive.”

“I look at them all. Look, EU is very difficult. … In a trade sense, they’ve really taken advantage of us and many of those countries are in NATO and they weren’t paying their bills(,)” Trump responded.

During his time in office, Trump widely derided Germany on theme of its energy reliance on Nord Stream 2, a pipeline aimed to boost the flow of gas to EU states from Russia, and which, controversially, was often a subject of criticism for Berlin mainly during the NATO summits that Trump attended. "There's a lot of anger at the fact that Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars,” Trump once noted. He also accused Germany of "waving a white flag” to Russia drawing flak from EU. Trump also minced EU for slapping a fine of $5 billion on Google for violating the dominance of its Android operating system, emphasizing that the EU was “taking advantage” of US. 

“European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the US, but not for long!," Trump wrote in a tweet at the time, reacting to the EU verdict. Besides imposing hefty fine, EU also ordered the American tech giant to "bring its its illegal conduct to an end in an effective manner" within a span of 90 days.

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Published February 21st, 2024 at 10:46 IST