Far-right European leaders, who once gave their unwavering support to U.S. President Donald Trump, condemned the pro-Trump protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday as Congress gathered to certify the presidential victory of the President-elect Joe Biden.
In gruesome scenes, hundreds of people walked through metal security barricades, smashed windows and climbed walls to enter the government building in Washington, DC.
The violence, in which at least four people died, saw rioters clash with police in the hallways. At least 52 people were arrested.
Right-wing politicians including Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dutch far-right opposition leader Geert Wilders, Trump’s longtime British ally Nigel Farage and Italian far-right party leader Matteo Salvini , denounced the actions of the demonstrators.
Unlike German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, however, they stopped before pin a little blame on Trump.
During this time, others were particularly silent.
At the time of publication, populists such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had not commented on the violence, which many saw as an attack on the symbol of American democracy.
Slovenian Nationalist Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who in November praised Trump for “winning” the vote against Biden ahead of the election result, denounced the violence on the U.S. Capitol, adding that he hoped American democracy “would overcome this crisis”.
“Everyone should be very disturbed by the violence in Washington DC,” tweeted the leader of the right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party. “Democracy presupposes peaceful protests, but violence and death threats – from the left or from the right – are ALWAYS false.”
But he has been criticized for taking “a pothot” on the left.
One of Europe’s small assets is using the far-right insurgency to take a bribe on the left. Uncool. https://t.co/AvLAlrLTNo
– James Kanter (@jameskanter) January 6, 2021
Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Rassemblement National Français, said Trump “must condemn what happened” but worried that his Twitter and Facebook accounts had been temporarily suspended.
“I consider that in a democracy we have the right to protest and demonstrate, but peacefully,” she said. “Any act of violence that aims to undermine the democratic process is unacceptable, and I was very shocked by the footage on Capitol Hill.”
“I consider that in a democracy, we have the right to protest and demonstrate, but peacefully. Any act of violence that aims to undermine the democratic process is inadmissible, and I was very shocked by the images on Capitol Hill. ” # Les4V pic.twitter.com/x6nuor7qa0
– Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) January 7, 2021
[Translation: I consider that in a democracy, we have the right to protest and demonstrate, but peacefully. Any act of violence that aims to undermine the democratic process is unacceptable, and I was very shocked at the images on Capitol Hill.]
Farage, a former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), made a brief comment, saying the “assault” was “wrong”. He has often offered vocal support to Trump in the past and recently appeared on stage with the outgoing US president at a campaign rally.
Storming Capitol Hill is a mistake. The protesters must leave.
– Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 6, 2021
Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), called the scenes in Washington “shocking”.
“The rule of law is stronger than violence. America is synonymous with freedom and liberty, and democracy will always prevail, ”he said. “And the result of democratic elections must always be respected, whether you win or lose.”
Shocking Images from Washington DC The rule of law is stronger than violence. America is synonymous with liberty and liberty, and democracy will always prevail. And the result of democratic elections must always be respected, whether you win or lose. #American parliament #America pic.twitter.com/oc2CT3F6Zv
– Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) January 6, 2021
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who heads the country’s center-right People’s Party, also said he was “shocked” by the violence on the US Capitol.
“This is an unacceptable attack on democracy. A peaceful and orderly transfer of power must be ensured, ”he said.
Shocked by the scenes in Washington, DC This is an unacceptable attack on democracy. A peaceful and orderly transfer of power must be ensured.
– Sébastien Kurz (@sebastiankurz) January 6, 2021
In neighboring Germany, the far-right opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD) said: “Violence should never be a political means.
“Anyone who violently attacks parliaments is targeting the heart of democracy,” AFD spokesperson Tino Chrupalla said. “This is the case with Washington, DC, Berlin or any other place in the world. For the AfD, the preservation of democracy is the first political objective. “
Anyone who violently attacks parliaments is aiming at the heart of the #The democracy. Is in #Washington DC therefore, in #Berlin or anywhere else in the world. For the #AfD the preservation of democracy is the first political objective. Violence must never be a political means.
– Tino Chrupalla (@Tino_Chrupalla) January 7, 2021
[Translation: Anyone who violently attacks parliaments aims at the heart of #Democracy. That’s the case for #Washington, DC, #Berlin or any other place in the world. For the #AfD, the preservation of democracy is the foremost political goal. Violence should never be a means of politics.]
Chrupalla’s remarks resonated in Italy, where Salvini said violence “is never the solution” when posting a commentary on Wednesday’s riot.
“Violence is never the solution, never. Long live freedom and democracy, always and everywhere ”, declared Salvini.
Violence is never the solution, never. Long live freedom and democracy, always and everywhere.#Washington
– Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) January 6, 2021
[Translation: Violence is never the solution, never. Long live Freedom and Democracy, always and everywhere. #Washington]
The U.S. Capitol riot came after weeks of baseless claims by Trump that the November 3 presidential election was rigged. The Republican leader has also frequently urged his supporters to help him reverse his loss.
On Wednesday, he spoke to thousands of supporters near the White House and told them to walk on Capitol Hill to express their anger at the voting process.
He then released a statement confirming that there would be an orderly transition when Biden took office as president in less than two weeks, after Congress certified the Democrat’s victory.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts confirm it, there will nonetheless be an orderly transition on January 20,” Trump said in a statement posted on Twitter by the House spokesperson. Blanche, Dan Scavino.