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Trump's Criticism Uniting Europe, Says French Minister

"The undermining of the chancellor is not something we can accept," French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's criticism of the European Union only serves to reinforce solidarity within the bloc, France's finance minister says.

In an interview published on January 15, Trump said leaving the EU would be good for Britain and predicted more departures from the bloc.

He also said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made a "catastrophic mistake" with her open-door policy on migration.

Merkel reacted by saying, "Europeans have our fate in our own hands," and France's President Francois Hollande said the EU "has no need for outside advice" on its affairs.

Speaking on January 17, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said, "the more [Trump] makes this sort of statement, the more Europeans close ranks."

"The undermining of the chancellor is not something we can accept," he added.

Meanwhile, one of Trump's top advisers told the BBC that the president-elect's comments had been misinterpreted, adding that he had an "enormous amount of respect" for Merkel.

"We have a very long-standing, very close, cohesive relationship with Western Europe and that will remain in place during the Trump administration," Anthony Scaramucci also said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Bloomberg