Liz Truss’s alleged lack of charisma and the ‘disastrous’ economic situation facing Britain are front and center for much of the European media following the appointment of the country’s new prime minister.
Apparent differences in style between Boris Johnson and his successor have been picked up by newspapers and websites across the political spectrum, but conclusions about Truss’ first speech in office were generally generous.
Spain’s best-selling newspaper, El País, suggested that in these dark times there might be an argument to dispense with the frivolity of Johnson’s short but colorful years.
“A lack of charisma can be a political advantage in times of uncertainty, if offset by a message of courage and determination,” the newspaper said, noting that was what Truss had promised on the steps of the n ° 10.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera highlights the worrying scale of the challenges ahead.
“From the words of Boris Johnson to the prose of Liz Truss: Britain’s new Prime Minister presented herself to the nation with a speech devoid of momentum, hooks or cultured quotes, but all centered on the issues concrete things to address,” the newspaper said.
“Never in recent history has a new head of government been confronted with such a difficult economic and social situation: inflation is at 13% and could exceed 20%, the economy is about to enter in recession and millions of people will have to choose whether to eat or heat the house this winter.
A similar sense of cautious welcome tempered by concern for the future was expressed by Belgium’s Le Soir as it reported on the wet Tuesday afternoon when Truss gave his first speech.
The newspaper writes: “If the weather was almost like the situation in the country, disastrous, the new head of government presented himself confident and smiling in front of the famous black door.” Of his remarks, in which Truss had emphasized “delivery” and promised a response to the catastrophic rise in energy bills, he deemed them “restrained but convincing”.
French newspaper Le Monde reports that Truss had “promised sunnier days despite the current economic gloom”. However, the newspaper went on to note that “recent opinion polls suggest that a significant part of the British public has no confidence in their ability to cope with the cost of living crisis”.
The headline of an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s best-selling newspapers, was “New Prime Minister, Old Problems”.
But while the left-leaning Die Tageszeitung is convinced that Truss’s style would be fully exploited by British satirists, rejoicing that the “laughs will continue”, it suggests in a second article that people could be mistaken in underestimating the new prime minister.
Der Spiegel, Germany’s largest news site, appreciated the confusion caused by the existence of a Twitter account with the handle @liztruss that belongs to a woman named Liz Trussell.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson posted a congratulatory tweet to @lizTruss at the response: “Looking forward to a visit soon! Prepare the meatballs.
The new Prime Minister’s personal Twitter account is @trussliz. Anderson’s tweet has since been deleted.