German opposition calls for RonaldReagan Street in Berlin
8 June 2004 , BERLIN - Germany's main conservative opposition Christian Democrats have called on Berlin city government to name a square or a street after former US Republican President Ronald Reagan, who died on the weekend.
8 June 2004
BERLIN - Germany's main conservative opposition Christian Democrats have called on Berlin city government to name a square or a street after former US Republican President Ronald Reagan, who died on the weekend.
"We should recognize his commitment to unification through a square or street near the Brandenburg Gate to be named after him," Germany's daily Bild Zeitung quoted CDU General Secretary Laurenz Meyer.
Reagan was president from 1981 and 1989 and had left office when communism imploded across Central Europe culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 and the in the historic unification of Germany less than a year later.
But in 1987 Reagan stood before the Berlin Wall at the city's Brandenburg Gate and called on then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."
It was one of a series of Cold War speeches delivered by US presidents in Berlin including John F. Kennedy's declaration in the early 1960's: "Ich bin ein Berliner."
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is to be among the mourners at the official Washington funeral for Reagan.
Schroeder would be attending the G8 summit on Sea Island, Georgia, and would travel to Washington directly afterwards for the Friday ceremony in the US capital.
The chancellor's participation was a gesture of appreciation for Reagan's commitment to ending the East-West conflict and to a free and unified Europe, the spokesman said. His attendance honoured the fact that Reagan had "always remained a close friend to Germany".
Former CDU Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who was German leader during the Reagan presidency praised the former US president as "a great friend of the Germans" for his role in ending both communism and Europe's Cold War division.
"Ronald Reagan was a man who achieved great things for his country," Kohl said. "He was a stroke of luck for the world, especially for Europe."
Subject: German news