Obama’s last trip: Addressing a divided Europe

acropolis-of-athens

Acropolis of Athens

(CNN) On his final state tour as President of the United States, Barack Obama will visit the Acropolis, the ancient Greek monument known as the “cradle of democracy”.

The white pillars of the Parthenon, which sits at the top of the Acropolis, still stand strong 2,500 years on – a symbolic testament to the enduring idea of a government by and for the people. In the words of the Athenian general Pericles, “a government in the hands of the many, not the few”.

This time, President Obama comes to Europe as the defeated champion of two causes lost to democratic votes: opposition both to the election of Donald Trump as President and “Brexit”, the British vote to leave the European Union.
For both the US and the EU, these are uncharted waters: how will President-elect Trump — the only candidate in US history to have won without any experience in government, the law or the military — deal with Europe, but especially the European Union?

Perhaps nothing spoke to EU fears more clearly than the photograph tweeted by Brexit champion and leader of the UK’s anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage, grinning inside a golden Trump Tower elevator, getting a thumbs up from the President-elect himself.

Europe is fracturing Trump’s victory has only widened the cracks further.

Consider this: France faces a Presidential election in a little more than 6 months and British betting agency, William Hill, has already recalculated the odds of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen (once a distant long-shot and the butt of political jokes) becoming the French President: jumping from 8/1 to a much more likely 2/1.

Read further and watch a video clip in CNN

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