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Orbán, Merkel to Mark Anniversary of Pan-European Picnic Together

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.07.31.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will mark together the 30th anniversary of the Pan-European Picnic, one of a series of events leading to the dismantling of the Iron Curtain and the fall of communism, the prime minister’s press chief told MTI on Wednesday.

The Pan-European Picnic was held on August 19, 1989, on the Austrian-Hungarian border, near the town of Sopron, as a demonstration of peaceful coexistence of Austria and Hungary. The nearby border crossing was opened for three hours, allowing nearly 1,000 East Germans to flee for the West. The picnic was one of the events contributing to the opening of the borders and the reunification of Germany.

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Bertalan Havasi told MTI that Merkel and Orbán will attend an ecumenical service in the Lutheran Church in Sopron’s historical centre on August 19. Both leaders will address the event, Havasi said.

featured image: illustration; via kormany.hu