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The Brief: Germany and Hungary mark 30th anniversary of fall of Iron Curtain

The Brief: Germany and Hungary mark 30th anniversary of fall of Iron Curtain
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By Euronews
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The Brief: Germany and Hungary mark 30th anniversary of fall of Iron Curtain. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hungarian premier Viktor Orban visit the Hungarian border town Sopron.

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Angela Merkel and Viktor Orban don't agree on much, but on Monday the leaders came together to mark 30 years since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Hungary was the first country to dismantle the East-West frontier. But now, it has one of Europe's most fortified borders, designed to keep out immigrants trying to reach the EU.

Merkel was born in East Germany and she thanked Hungary for its role in bringing down the Berlin Wall.

It began on 19 August 1989 in the Hungarian town of Sopran, on the border with Austria. In a symbolic gesture agreed by both countries, a border gate would be opened for three hours to allow for a pan-European picnic.

News of the event soon spread and more than 600 East Germans used the opportunity to flee to the West. Hungarian border guards refused to block them and the event was a major milestone leading to the end of the Iron Curtain.

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