Speed Reads

Trump inauguration

Merkel plans compromise while Le Pen calls for European nationalism

After initially opting for an art museum visit instead of tuning in to President Trump's inaugural address, German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised Saturday to seek opportunities for cooperation with the new American administration.

"First, I believe firmly that it is best for all of us if we work together based on rules, common values, and joint action in the international economic system, in the international trade system, and make our contributions to the military alliances," said the de facto leader of the European Union. "And second, the trans-Atlantic relationship will not be less important in the coming years than it was in past years. And I will work on that. Even when there are different opinions, compromises and solutions can be best found when we exchange ideas with respect."

Also on Saturday, Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, predicted a coming shift in Europe in favor of her nationalist populism. "2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up," she said, referencing Brexit and Trump's win. "I am sure 2017 will be the year the people of continental Europe wake up."