German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has branded leading US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a threat to peace and prosperity while Chancellor Angela Merkel said it had always been a pleasure to work with Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The comments by Gabriel, Germany's vice chancellor and leader of the Social Democrats, are the clearest sign yet that ruling politicians in Europe are increasingly worried about the outcome of the US presidential elections.
"Whether Donald Trump, Marine le Pen or Geert Wilders - all these right-wing populists are not only a threat to peace and social cohesion, but also to economic development," Gabriel told Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.
Gabriel said that Trump and French National Front leader Le Pen were promising voters "a way back into a fairytale world" in which economic activity only happened within national borders but that history had shown such isolated economies had no prospect.
"We have to make the effort to explain how we want to shape globalization in a fair way," Gabriel said.
Politicians in Germany and elsewhere in Europe have watched nervously as businessman and reality TV star Trump has moved from long shot to front-runner of the Republicans seeking the party's nomination ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.