The eighth and final Asturias prize for 2009 was awarded today. The category at the awards in Spain was Concord – an accolade to a person, institution or even a city which has made an outstanding contribution to what judges called peaceful co-existence of mankind.
There were nominations from 44 countries but the Concord winner for 2009 was Berlin. Two decades ago a largely peaceful revolution was sweeping through eastern Europe and millions of people witnessed historic events as the Berlin Wall came down. Back in 1989 millions in the former Soviet bloc were tasting freedom for the first time. Unification of Germany has brought its own problems and many in the east still feel they are treated as underdogs. But today’s award reflects the huge steps Berlin has made and the improvement to the lives of so many since the Wall came down.