European Union executive seeks official commemoration of Germany's Kohl

Helmut Kohl with Margaret Thatcher in London in 1983

The former German Chancellor died at the age of 87 on 16 June 17, 2017.

Xi said the Chinese people will never forget their old friend for his consistent commitment to promoting China-Germany and China-Europe dialogues and cooperation, his positive contributions to the development of China-Germany relations, as well as his understanding and support for the Chinese people to realize complete national reunification.

Added Harris: "He was also a cherished friend of the Jewish people and Israel, and frequently spoke about his desire to restore a Jewish presence in his country after the devastation wrought by the Nazi Final Solution". Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush have praised Kohl, calling him "the greatest European leader of the second half of the 20th century".

Once viewed as a provincial bumbler, Kohl combined an understanding of the worries of ordinary Germans with a hunger for power, getting elected four times.

He died at his house in Ludwigshafen, in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Bild newspaper reports. Leader of Opposition in the Bundestag through most of the 1970s, he was elected Chancellor in 1982 as the CDU returned to power.


"He held fast to the dream and goal of a united Germany, even as others wavered", she said.

"Kohl was the leader who united Germany with a determined and steady hand".

Juncker said that "without Helmut Kohl, the euro would not exist".

Gentiloni, for his part, tweeted: "Honour to the memory of Chancellor Kohl".

Still, the "blooming landscapes" that Kohl promised East German voters during reunification were slow to come after the collapse of its economy, and massive aid to the east pushed up German government debt. He also drew criticism for failing to embark on economic reforms. They had two sons, Peter and Walter. His wife, Hannelore, killed herself in July 2001 after suffering from a rare skin condition and depression.

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