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European leaders congratulate Trump but media warns of 'black day' for markets

European leaders have congratulated Donald Trump for winning the race to the White House, despite concerns over what his presidency could mean for global politics, with key general elections in Germany and France just around the corner.

President Francois Hollande of France congratulated Trump "as is natural between two democratic heads of state," adding, however, that the election result "opens a period of uncertainty."

Before making his public comment, Hollande spoke with the German chancellor over the phone, Reuters said.

France itself is entering into a politically sensitive time with a presidential elections early next year. Trump's victory could represent a boost to Marie Le Pen, head of the far-right party Front National. She congratulated Donald Trump on Twitter hours before the election was closed.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C), French President Francois Hollande (L) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Sean Gallup | Getty Images
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C), French President Francois Hollande (L) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said she is ready to work with Trump based on common democratic values. Earlier on Wednesday, senior members of Merkel's conservative party told Reuters that they have no idea what Trump would do as U.S. president in a scenario of volatile geopolitics. Also, in Germany, the victory of Donald Trump could affect the upcoming election for the chancellery.

There's been an increasing support for the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) in recent state polls. Jörg Meuthen, AfD's chief, said the U.S. result was a "very good signal for the world".

In Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, a strong Hillary Clinton supporter, said that "there is a need to reflect on how the country can build strong institutions that go beyond specific political alliances or elections."

Prime Minister Theresa May of the U.K. has also sent her congratulations to Donald Trump on his victory. "We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defense," May said in a statement.

Trump's victory has been welcomed and congratulated also by the Greek far-right party, Golden Dawn. A spokesperson told Reuters that it was not just a win for Trump, but a victory against "illegal immigration" and in favor of ethnically "clean" nations.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin said that he is hopeful that both countries will cooperate on international issues, Reuters reported. Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary, said on Facebook "What a great news. Democracy is still alive."

The Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, also congratulated Trump in a statement, saying "U.S. leadership is as important as ever," at a time when there is a "challenging new security environment."

Elsewhere, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk has invited Trump for an EU-U.S. summit at the latter's "earliest convenience."

European newspapers began the day saying November 9 would be remembered as a "black day" for financial markets, but investors seemed far from panicking.

The U.K.'s The Guardian described the market tumult as "bigger than Brexit." Translated headlines showed the Spanish El Pais newspaper saying "Fear of a Trump presidency takes over world markets," and the French Les Echos wrote "Black day for the markets."

European stocks started with heavy losses as the session opened Wednesday, but quickly pared losses with the FTSE 100 hovering around the flatline by 10:00 a.m. London time.

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