Germany has celebrated it’s 24th unity anniversary on Friday. Chancellor Angela Merkel evoked the reunification spirit which brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989 to confront the problems the country faces today.
Merkel said that the hard won rights of ’89 had to be defended wherever they were threatened. She referred to the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the crisis in Ukraine as well as the threat posed by the militant group Islamic State in the Middle East.
“German Unity is not possible without the peaceful revolution in the German Democratic Republic. Without the courage of the citizens of the German Democratic Republic without the reform pressure produced by them, there would have been no Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th 1989,” she announced.
The annual unity event has become a barometer of how far the republic has come since reunification of east and west. Divisions still remain as incomes remain lower in the east, but then so do prices. A solidarity pact worth 1.3 trillion euros to boost the eastern economy has led to questions over whether geography should dictate spending.
During her speech Merkel admitted that although reunification had been a great success, there was still a lot more work to do in the country to bridge gaps between east and west.