A clown, an opportunist, Europe's own Trump: German media takes a dim view of Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Party, gestures during his visit at Wisley Garden Centre in Surrey, Britain, June 25, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Peter Wittig, the German ambassador to London penned a lengthy opinion piece in Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper on Monday, saying that while Germany also bears responsibility for a smooth Brexit, reaching a free-trade agreement after a no-deal Brexit would be "enormously difficult" as "trust would be destroyed."

While Wittig implored for sensible behaviour on both sides, the German media is puzzling over Boris Johnson, the top contender to become the next UK prime minister and lead his country out of the EU. Overall, political writers are not impressed.

Johnson's bust-up with his girlfriend, his gung-ho promises that Britain will leave the bloc on 31st October come what may, and his character flaws are causing consternation and no little disgust amongst media commentators in Europe's biggest economy.

"Will Europe soon have its own Donald Trump?" asked Bild, Germany's leading tabloid.

"Like Donald Trump, Johnson cultivates a decidedly unconventional political style," wrote Alexander von Schönburg for Bild. He goes on to say that the idea of Johnson becoming prime minister triggers "nervous twitching" in Brussels, Berlin, and Paris, noting that Johnson had already threatened to withhold the UK's €44 billion exit payment to the EU as a negotiating tool.

"When EU Council President Donald Tusk said there was a 'special place in hell' for the Brexit leaders, he also had Johnson in mind," Bild says. The paper catalogues Johnson's history, including his alleged fabrication of quotes whilst working at the Times, cheating on his wives, his "legendary laziness", and his comment that women in burkas looked like "mailboxes".

Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung broadsheet asked on Monday: "What does Boris Want?" The paper calls him "the hero of the English nationalists and a "talented charlatan who still does not have a true plan for Brexit."

Boris's core supporters love him because he cheers and defends Brexit with the greatest relish, the paper says, "because he is a clown and an opportunist."

52 PHOTOS
Boris Johnson on the campaign trail
See Gallery
Boris Johnson on the campaign trail
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London with Tim Martin, Chairman of JD Wetherspoon.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London with Tim Martin, Chairman of JD Wetherspoon.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London with Tim Martin, Chairman of JD Wetherspoon.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to construction work for the expansion of Terminal Two at Manchester Airport.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to construction work for the expansion of Terminal Two at Manchester Airport.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to construction work for the expansion of Terminal Two at Manchester Airport.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson watches as a sheep is prepared for shearing during a visit to Nosterfield farm near Ripon in North Yorkshire, ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson holds up a string of sausages around his neck during a visit to Heck Foods Ltd. headquarters near Bedale in North Yorkshire ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson sits in a chair in a clothing shop during a visit to Guisborough, North Yorkshire.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson makes sausages during a visit to Heck Foods Ltd. headquarters near Bedale in North Yorkshire ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson during a Tory leadership hustings at Darlington Hippodrome.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson makes sausages during a visit to Heck Foods Ltd. headquarters near Bedale in North Yorkshire ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Guisborough, North Yorkshire.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson arriving at a Tory leadership hustings in York.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a visit to Nosterfield farm near Ripon in North Yorkshire, ahead of the latest hustings in York later.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson poses for a selfie with a steelworker during a visit to Guisborough, North Yorkshire.
Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson looks through binoculars on the bridge of the Isle of Wight ferry as it sets sail from Portsmouth.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson poses for a photo at the Wight Shipyard Company at Venture Quay during a visit to the Isle of Wight.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson arrives for a Tory leadership hustings in Crooklands in Cumbria.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson addresses party members at the Oaktree Arena in Highbridge, Somerset.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson thumbs up as he leaves an event after addressing party members at the Oaktree Arena in Highbridge, Somerset.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking during a Tory leadership hustings at Carlisle Racecourse.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking during a Tory leadership hustings at Carlisle Racecourse.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking in Exeter during a Tory leadership hustings.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson sits in a boat under construction at the Venture Quay boatyard during a visit to the Isle of Wight.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson arrives to speak at a Tory leadership hustings at Carlisle Racecourse.
Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson looks out from the bridge of the Isle of Wight ferry St Faith, as it sets sail from Portsmouth.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking at a campaign event in Wombourne in the West Midlands.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (left) and Dominic Rabb in The Victoria public house in Oxshott, Surrey.
Supporters during Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson's leadership hustings in Crooklands in Cumbria.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson's father Stanley Johnson (left) watching his son speak in Exeter during a Tory leadership hustings.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson at a campaign event in Wombourne in the West Midlands.
Campaigners from Our Future, Our Choice (OFOC) flood Lord North Street in Westminster, London, where Boris Johnson's campaign headquarters is , with 2000 rubber ducks.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson with a supporter at a Tory leadership hustings in Crooklands in Cumbria.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson speaking at a Tory leadership hustings in Crooklands in Cumbria.
Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson at a campaign event at the Lion Quays Hotel in Oswestry, Shropshire.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson has a drink in the Munch and Wiggles cafe in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (left) and Dominic Rabb in The Victoria public house in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (centre) and Dominic Rabb (right) talk to staff in the Surrey Hills Butchers in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (left) and Dominic Rabb in The Victoria public house in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (right) interacts with local business people in the Munch and Wiggles cafe in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (second left) weighs some produce in the Surrey Hills Butchers in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (right) interacts with local business people in the Munch and Wiggles cafe in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (right) interacts with local business people in the Munch and Wiggles cafe in Oxshott, Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (left) and Dominic Rabb, in The Victoria public house in Oxshott, Surrey.
RETRANSMISSION adding name of Hayley Monckton. Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (centre) walks with David Alexander (left, Director of Estates at the RHS) and Hayley Monckton (front right, Director of Communications at the RHS) while touring the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a tour of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson talks to a visitor as he tours the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson talks to visitors during a tour of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during a tour of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson (centre) gestures to visitors as his staff members walk up the steps, during a tour of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) garden at Wisley, in Surrey.
Boris Johnson pictured during a live phone in with LBC presenter Nick Ferrari, at their studios in central London. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2019. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Der Spiegel, Germany's influential weekly current affairs magazine, today wrote "Seriously? "Boris Johnson has just one rival to beat, then he is head of the British Tories and new prime minister. But for someone so favoured, things are going disastrously."

Spiegel focuses on how Johnson has not only refused to discuss the reported fight between him and his girlfriend but also his extreme vagueness over how he would solve the huge Brexit issue of the Irish border — save to say that "many technical solutions" exist.

"It was classic Johnson....he is used to making eloquent announcements that often dissolve when it comes to details," Spiegel sums up.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS