BERLIN (AP) – The latest on the death of former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, whose legacy includes putting a reunited Germany at the heart of Europe and helping create the continent’s common currency, the euro. (all times local):
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Helmut Kohl was “the right man at the right time” when the winds of change began sweeping through Eastern Europe in the 1980s.
Merkel says Kohl understood that there was a “historic chance” to overcome Germany’s decades-long division and seized it.
Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor who reunified a nation divided by the Cold War, died Friday at 87.
Speaking in Rome late Friday, Merkel said her predecessor’s skillful statesmanship won over Germany’s neighbors and ensured a peaceful reunification.
Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, said her own life had changed markedly because of Kohl’s actions, for which she was deeply grateful.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was “a great statesman, a great German politician and most of all, a great European.”
Gabriel said in a statement Friday that Kohl “did a lot not just to make German reunification happen, but also for European integration.”
Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, died Friday at 87.
Helmut Kohl, the physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe, has died at 87.
Kohl’s Christian Democratic Union party posted on Twitter: “We are in sorrow. #RIP #HelmutKohl.”
The daily newspaper Bild reported that Kohl died Friday at his home in Ludwigshafen.
Over his 16 years at the country’s helm from 1982 to 1998 – first for West Germany and then for all of a united Germany – Kohl combined a dogged pursuit of European unity with a keen instinct for history. Less than a year after the November 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, he spearheaded the end of Germany’s decades-long division into East and West, ushering in a new era in European politics.