World media anxious as Trump takes power

Trump inauguration press graphic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Broadcasters around the world covered the ceremony

It was a ceremony saturated in stars and stripes, with a speech that sung a paean to American exceptionalism.

But the inauguration of President Donald Trump was also a global event.

Images from Washington DC were relayed on numerous news channels to a worldwide audience wondering what a Trump presidency will mean for future.

Overall, the tone was pessimistic.

While many broadcasters opted for straight live feeds, Russia's state-run Rossiya 1 hosted a live studio discussion where guests bickered and joked beneath a giant screen in a high-tech studio. Perhaps notably, the channel chose not to carry a live translation of the inaugural address.

Image copyright Rossiya 1
Image caption Russian TV coverage

Poland's Politiyka website said the ceremony was "so sweet and normal, one could almost forget that it crowns a campaign full of filth".

But most commentators disagreed, saying Trump abandoned the traditional niceties that usually accompany such events.

America first

Under the headline "One president, two Americas", France's Liberation says Mr Trump delivered "the least unifying" inaugural address in US history, with a tone that was "entirely in line with his campaign statements, but with added presidential posturing".

But Le Monde saw only "moderate enthusiasm" from those who had gathered, in an atmosphere that "seemed a far cry from the fervour of the campaign."

In South America there is fear for what Mr Trump's apparently isolationist leanings will herald. Brazil's Estado de S Paulo newspaper called the inaugural address "aggressive", while left-wing Argentine newspaper Pagina 12 focussed on the new president's government, which it called a "cabinet of racists, financiers, fundamentalists, warriors and anti-workers".

Image copyright El Financiero
Image caption Front page of Mexico's El Financiero

Significantly, China seemed to downplay the event, with most media offering only basic reporting - perhaps emblematic of Mr Trump's already fraught relationship with the world's second-largest economy.

Russia's independent website said that "Trump is closing America".


Anti-Trump demonstrations around Washington DC did not go unnoticed, particularly in countries with an historically fraught relationship with Washington.

Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency offered only cursory coverage of the ceremony, with emphasis on the "numerous protests" taking place around Washington.

Image copyright Javan
Image caption Iran's media was largely focussed on other issues

Similarly, Iran's hardline daily Javan newspaper led its coverage with reports on protests, which it used to predict a "volatile" term in office.

Rossiya TV remarked that "not everybody welcomed the new father of the nation", but that the protests "did not affect the festive ceremony".

On the website of Israel's conservative daily Yisrael Hayom, Boaz Bismuth called the ceremony "a celebration of US democracy" which "symbolises the success of the US constitution".

The First Lady

Mrs Trump captured attention in eastern Europe, where few could resist comparisons to former first ladies. Rossiya 1 said her "exquisite image reminded many of Jacqueline Kennedy".

In her native Slovenia, the Svet24 newspaper said Melania "completely overshadowed" Michelle Obama with her outfit. And her choice of a Ralph Lauren was also "a little poke at Hillary Clinton" who also favours the designer.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Melania Trump's outfit garnered much attention

Media in Ukraine and Belarus sought to find ancestral connections to the new First Family. In Belarus, Salidarnist website noted that Ralph Lauren had Belarussian ancestry and that President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has family in the country.

Ukrayina TV said Mr Kushner's great-grandfather was a Jew from Ternopil Region. A local council head was shown saying that he would be happy to build contacts with Mr Kushner.

Looking ahead

Commentators struggle to offer any certainty as to what the next four years will mean for America and the world.

In Germany's Die Zeit, commentator Carsten Luther says President Trump's declaration that he and his supporters will set the course of the US and the world for many years to come "sounds like a threat".

Alexei Veselovsky said on Russia's NTV news that "They had brought the billionaire to the White House and Trump clearly expects that his vision of America will help him in future too."

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.

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