Europe

European media see bleak future for May

Image copyright BBC Monitoring
Image caption Dutch NRC Next's headline reads "May's great gamble goes wrong"

The hung parliament result of the British general election has surprised commentators in major European Union countries as much as at home.

Many question whether Theresa May can hold on to the premiership, and speculate on whether the negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union will be derailed.

Germany's N24 news, like most TV channels, leads its coverage with the "question mark over Theresa May's future" as she faces "new battles in her own party".

The London correspondent of France's centre-right Le Figaro, Florentin Collomp, asks the key question "should she stay or should she go?", given her "disastrous electoral performance" and calls from within her own party for her to resign.

He concludes that sooner or later "the knives will come out for her".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption French CNews TV sees a "divided country, a Disunited Kingdom"

French CNews TV channel's Cassandre Mallay also sees Theresa May as "fatally weakened" as she tries to preside over a "a Disunited Kingdom".

Wolfgang Hansson of the Swedish centre-left tabloid Aftonbladet says the result is a failure for Theresa May personally, and questions whether Britain has now been rendered "ungovernable".

Image copyright BBC Monitoring
Image caption Spanish papers report no overall majority for Mrs May

In Le Figaro, Arnaud de La Grange sees the result as a cautionary tale about the "inexact science" of gambling on early elections, and wonders whether Mrs May "really thought herself immune from Continental mishaps… given that her lead over Labour was shrivelling like an empty wineskin in the sun".

'Revenge'

Aldo Cazzullo of Italy's Corriere della Sera says a "credible" Labour leadership might have won the election outright, as "many voters are tired of seven years of Conservative rule", and sees another election as a real possibility.

Image copyright Corriere della Sera
Image caption Italian paper Corriere della Sera sees the prospect of another UK election in the near future

Nonetheless, he praises party leader Jeremy Corbyn's success in "winning over the young, the excluded, and large numbers of urban voters with his social reform programme".

He thinks the Labour leader's "ambiguity on Brexit" allowed him to attract votes from both pro-Europeans and Eurosceptics.

The Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad's Geert Langendorff says voters "punished Theresa May for her arrogance".

Image copyright Le Monde
Image caption Le Monde's headline notes that the Conservatives do not have an absolute majority

Philippe Bernard of France's centre-left Le Monde agrees that Jeremy Corbyn "managed to mobilise abstainers and young people disgusted at increasing inequality and poverty".

'Boomerang'

Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, the foreign editor of Germany's centre-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, says the early election gamble "rebounded on Theresa May like a boomerang", and thinks the "cost for Britain will be high".

Image copyright Frankfurter Allgemeine
Image caption Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine looks ahead to Brexit negotiations with uncertainty

He says she failed to make the election a "a second and decisive vote for Brexit" because the terror attacks in London and Manchester put security at the top of the agenda, exposing her to criticism over her cuts to police funding as home secretary.

Maciej Czarnecki, of Poland's centre-left Gazeta Wyborcza, says Mrs May's "catastrophe is bad news for Britain and for its Brexit talks".

He says that instead of preparing for the talks, "Britain will be preoccupied with horse-trading" over the formation of a new government".

Image copyright BBC Monitoring
Image caption Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung's headline says, "Miscalculated"

Christian Zaschke, of Munich's centre-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung, says Mrs May's tactics of "disappearing from view when the going gets tough" was evident during the Brexit campaign.

"But it is not an option for a prime minister, especially in an election campaign, to simply disappear from public view once in a while," he says.

Corriere della Sera's Aldo Cazzullo says Europe is "now resigned to losing London", and will want to press on with the talks to avoid "Byzantine negotiations full of uncertainties".

'Crash landing'

Eva Lapido of Germany's daily Die Welt says that "once again British voters have defied expectations… and British politics is sinking in chaos".

She says this uncertainty means a "massive, costly, almost negligent loss of time", as it could possibly be months before the British government is prepared for Brexit negotiations

Image copyright ABC
Image caption ABC sees the result in Scotland as a "crash landing" for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP

Spain's conservative ABC, ever wary of separatist tendencies at home, sees the election result in Scotland as a "crash landing" for the Scottish National Party, and an "implicit rejection of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's aim to call a second independence referendum".

It attributes the SNP's setback to the strong showing of the Conservatives, who had "most firmly opposed the second referendum".

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Topics

More on this story