Sunday 4 December 2016

'Nasty populism on rise' - Kenny

Published 08/11/2016 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Justin Farrelly
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Justin Farrelly

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the US presidential election has been "one of the most fractious and divisive contests in recent memory".

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Referring to the bitter contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump - as well as the Brexit vote in the UK - Mr Kenny said that populism "in its most nasty manifestations" is on the rise.

Warning of uncertain economic times ahead, Mr Kenny said that Brexit has "sent ripples across the world".

"Tomorrow, the people of the United States will go to the polls after one of the most fractious and divisive contests in living memory," he said.

"Both these decisions have global implications for all people. Growth in many emerging markets has slowed and, in many places, populism, including in its most nasty manifestations, is on the rise.

"Against this backdrop, expectations of economic growth at global level remain subdued."

He said that "as a small open trading economy", this is a "particularly challenging set of circumstances for us here" and said that Ireland must maintain its competitiveness and work to increase the resilience of business.

Mr Kenny did not express a preference for either US candidate in a speech at a conference in Dublin.

Previously, he told the Dáil that he considered comments by Mr Trump during the campaign as "racist and dangerous".

Last month Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin backed Ms Clinton as his choice, arguing that Mr Trump "has a frightening amount in common" with the "extreme right" in Europe.

"In contrast, Hillary Clinton has been a resolute voice for decency and democratic values," Mr Martin said.

Irish Independent

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