Four views from Europe

NOT AS BAD AS EXPECTED

"Mr Trump has not become an authoritarian leader. He continues to criticise the judges but has not ignored their rulings. He has not turned into Mr Vladimir Putin's lapdog either, and, in fact, seems to be standing by America's Western allies more than expected. And, so far, he has not triggered a trade war with China. All this may set the bar very low for a US president, but considering the things Mr Trump said during the election campaign, one does feel relieved... The world and the West have got through the first 100 days of the Trump administration relatively unscathed. That's a hopeful sign. But it's far too soon to give the all-clear signal."

Die Welt, Germany


STAYING AT HOME HAS HELPED

"In these first 100 days in office, Mr Trump has not done much travelling. In fact, he is the only president in 40 years not to have made any foreign trips, preferring to make use of the home advantage. He has probably made just as many headlines receiving foreign leaders at the White House as if he had visited them anyway. In the middle of this month, however, he is due to make an important trip to Sicily, where his G-7 colleagues will be waiting for him. And he will also meet Pope Francis. There is not that much good feeling between the two. The Pope is concerned about Mr Trump's recent belligerent behaviour and has publicly criticised his immigration policy. For his part, Mr Trump distrusts the close friendship between Pope Francis and Mr Obama."

El Mundo, Spain


FLEXIBLE BUT INCOHERENT

"Two reactions are conceivable. You can either be reassured by the 45th President's realism and ability to adapt, or be terrified by the volatility of his convictions. Perhaps Mr Trump's style is to have no style at all, either in manners or in his way of governing. His decisions are impulsive and serve his immediate interests. That has the advantage of flexibility, but not necessarily of coherence. The Europeans must take note of this absence of vision and urgently adopt a diplomacy with backbone. Otherwise, we will be condemned to being swept back and forth by the whims of the helmsman in Washington."

Le Figaro, France


STUCK IN ROLE OF CAMPAIGNER

"Mr Trump has remained true to the scandalous behaviour he displayed during the entire election campaign. The key role played by his private home, his uneducated way of speaking, his caustic treatment of journalists, his exclusion of important media from the White House, his crude behaviour towards women, from Dr Angela Merkel to his own wife, his clan building in the White House and many other things are all unprecedented for an American president. Mr Trump is still stuck in his role as campaigner. His whole attitude shows that he would rather fight to become president than be one."

Kapital Daily, Bulgaria

•The translations of the commentary excerpts above are from https://www.eurotopics.net, a service of Germany's Federal Agency for Civic Education.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2017, with the headline 'Four views from Europe'. Print Edition | Subscribe