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Berlin Wall anniversary: Merkel warns democracy is not 'self-evident'

November 10, 2019 7:20 am
People placed roses on a remaining portion of the Berlin Wall during a ceremony on Saturday - REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned against taking democracy for granted, at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall.

“No wall that keeps people out and restricts freedom is so high… that it cannot be broken down,” she added.

The wall had separated Soviet-controlled East Berlin and capitalist West Berlin during the Cold War.

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Its fall in 1989 was seen as a victory for liberal democracy, and led to Germany’s reunification a year later.

However, Mrs Merkel warned on Saturday that “the values on which Europe is founded – freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights – they are anything but self-evident and they have to be revitalised and defended time and time again”.

“We stand stripped of any excuses and are required to do our part of freedom and democracy,” she added in a ceremony at the Berlin Wall memorial.

There has been a rise in the far-right in many European countries, while the governments of EU countries such as Poland and Hungary have been accused of undermining the rule of law.

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