Scary, that's the verdict on US President Trump's inauguration speech from the London School of Economics' Paul De Grauwe. The Flemish academic believes that if the US goes protectionist other countries will follow suit.
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Speaking to VRT's Rik Arnoudt Prof De Grauwe pulls no punches: "This is undiluted nationalism. We're heading back in time a century. This can only lead to economic catastrophe and a raft of conflicts."

Prof De Grauwe also accuses President Trump of setting people at each other's throats.

"I wouldn't be bothered if the US turned in upon itself if this didn't have repercussions for the rest of the world too. Under Juan Perón Argentina did the same. It was a disaster for the population. This, however, is a bigger ball game."

Prof De Grauwe also slates Mr Trump's new administration packed with billionaires: "He was going to drain the swamp. He’s appointed a government of billionaires, but they won't be fighting for the interests of ordinary Americans. It's incomprehensible that people are fooled in this way."

The Flemish academic understands Mr Trump's attitude towards NATO: "For a while Americans have been saying that the Europeans should pull their weight. It's unacceptable that European countries continue to cut their defence budgets, but count on the US. We will have to come up with the cash."


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