Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has remained a role model for Christian Democrats to this day, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff told the Budapest Europe Speech event on Wednesday.
Gulyás told the event marking the 4th anniversary of Kohl’s death that when a “historic opportunity” emerged 30 years ago for the reunification of Germany, Kohl’s international respect weighed a lot in that development.
“He was the right man at the right time, a statesman who rightly recognised a one-time opportunity and acted accordingly,” Gulyás said.
He cited Kohl saying that “it was the Hungarians who removed the first stone from the Berlin wall” when opening the border for East Germans to Austria.
Gulyás also said that Hungary and Germany had many economic, cultural and political ties going back to some thousand years and added that “we consider all German-speaking nations our friends”.
He also said that the close-knit network of relations go way beyond some everyday differences in opinion.
At the event co-hosted by the Foundation for a Civic Hungary and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Hungary office, former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, the chairman of the Adenauer Foundation’s board of trustees, also commemorated the work, achievements and intellectual heritage of Helmut Kohl.
In the featured photo: Helmut Kohl in 2012. Photo by MTI/EPApool/Wolfgang Kumm