Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

On Berlin Wall anniversary, Merkel urges Europe to defend `democracy, freedom`

Merkel calls on Europe to ‘defend democracy' as Germany marks fall of Berlin Wall Trump congratulates Germans 30 years after fall of Berlin Wall
Patty Aguilar | 11 November, 2019, 07:12

"Steinmeier pointed out, nevertheless, the historical event didn't indicate the" end of history" since USA historian Francis Fukuyama said.

Speaking to European leaders at Bernauer Strasse, head of the Berlin Wall memorial site, Axel Klausmeier, recalled the images of delirious Berliners from East and West crying tears of joy as they hugged each other on the evening of November 9, 1989. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

"Without the courage and the will to freedom of the Poles and Hungarians, the Czechs and Slovaks, the peaceful revolutions in Eastern Europe and Germany's reunification would not have been possible". The struggle of political systems had continued and the future was more uncertain than ever before, he added.

The Berlin Wall reminds "us that we have to do our part for freedom and democracy", said Merkel.

However, Mrs Merkel warned on Saturday that "the values on which Europe is founded - freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights - they are anything but self-evident and they have to be revitalised and defended time and time again".

"Today, authoritarianism is once again rising", he said, namechecking China and Russian Federation.

"I congratulate the German people on the tremendous strides that have been made in reuniting their country and in rebuilding the former East Germany".

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"Power is shifting away from Europe, authoritarian models are on the rise, the United States is increasingly looking inwards and worldwide law is losing ground", he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveiled on Friday a statue at the US Embassy directly next to the Berlin Wall of former US president Ronald Reagan, who famously called in 1987 on then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to 'tear down this wall.' More than 20 years earlier, US president John Kennedy had stood before the wall and declared: 'Ich bin ein Berliner.' To this day it is unclear whether the East Berlin authorities intended the wall to fall on the night of November 9.

The United States and European allies accuse Berlin of spending too little on defense, and view Germany's large current account surplus as a sign that Germans are not investing enough to support growth and development.

A representative of the group said that it is a message to stress the importance of bringing down walls in society and in people's mind, and that they want to remind Trump and Americans that the United States was at the forefront in bringing the wall down.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged this in a recent interview with daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, saying that "with some things, where one might have thought that East and West would have aligned, one can see today that it might rather take half a century or more".

Mild installations, concert events and public debates have been deliberate all through town and different elements of Germany to mark the autumn of the Wall, together with a live performance at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate.

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