EU leaders have paid tribute to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who has died at the age of 87.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that his death “hurts deeply,” a man who was the “very essence” of Europe.
Helmut's death hurts me deeply. My mentor, my friend, the very essence of Europe, he will be greatly, greatly missed https://t.co/ikJFdzK9m0— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) 16 June 2017
European Council President Donald Tusk also posted, describing Kohl as a friend and a statesman.
I will always remember Helmut Kohl. A friend and a statesman who helped reunite Europe.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) 16 June 2017
In Brussels, EU flags were lowered to half mast in tribute to the man known as the father of reunification.
Germany’s longest serving post-war chancellor from 1982 to 1998, Kohl was a driving force behind the introduction of the euro currency, convincing sceptical Germans to give up their cherished Deutschemark.
In these turbulent times, EU leaders say the bloc must build on his legacy.
Kohl is reported to have died on Friday morning in his home in Ludwigshafen.
EU flags at half mast for Helmut Kohl pic.twitter.com/Ish03Yshvk— Samuel White (@SamWhite1190) 16 June 2017