Voter casting ballot

Matt Atlas

U.S. Midterm Results May Benefit Europe: Foreign Minister

The Czech Republic’s Social Democrat minister of foreign affairs says the Democrats’ seizure of the US House of Representatives could lessen the impact of some of Donald Trump’s policies. But the head of the right-wing Civic Democrats calls the results a clear success for the Republicans, who have tightened their grip on the Senate.


Tuesday’s mid-term elections in the United States saw the Republicans reinforce their hold on the Senate, while the Democrats gained a majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years.


Though the party not in the White House tends to make gains in the mid-terms, the results are being seen as a blow for President Donald Trump.


The Democrats can now block much of his agenda and may investigate his administration.


The polls were seen as a referendum on Trump and were described as the most closely watched mid-terms in a generation.


Politicians in the Czech Republic have also responded to events across the pond.


Among them has been the recently appointed minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, who made the following comments after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning.


“For me as a Social Democrat it’s very pleasing that the Democrats will have the majority in the House of Representatives. That should allow us to reduce some of the impacts of Trump’s policies, for instance in the field of international trade, and should also reinforce transatlantic relations.”


Across the aisle from Mr. Petříček is Petr Fiala, chairman of the right-wing Civic Democrats, who are now in opposition.


In a tweet on Wednesday, Mr. Fiala warmly welcomed the outcome of the US mid-terms.


“The American elections have ended in an undoubted success for the Republicans,” he wrote. “Despite the controversies surrounding Donald Trump and efforts by the Democrats to make the elections mainly a vote about the president, the Republicans have managed to win in the Senate and in a number of states.”


Given the strong conservative agenda being advanced in the US, it has been a remarkable and promising result in the context of the history of mid-terms, Mr. Fiala said.


Czech President Miloš Zeman has in the past called himself a “Czech Trump” and was one of the few European leaders to support then candidate Trump back in 2016.


Mr. Zeman’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that it was entertaining to watch raging journalists “in shock at Trump’s success in the Senate”.


Mr. Ovčáček, who tweets as “President spokesman” but says his account is private, added that the effect of an anti-Trump campaign intensifying over several years had been very meagre.