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Victor Ponta, Prime Minister of Romania: German Unification, a special importance in the political and affective history of our continent

The German Unification after the fall of communism in 1989 holds a special importance in the political and affective history of our continent. As a teenager, I remember it as a moment that marked the hope and the promise of the 1989 revolutions, of a free and prosperous continent, no longer divided by arbitrarily set borders and marked by the destructive effect of dictatorship. A step towards a brighter future, towards a different world and a united Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, German unification was a landmark of what the hopes of millions of people taking to the streets and denouncing a tyrannical regime could achieve. The importance of this moment was not lost on Romanians and on this occasion, I wish to express my deepest feelings of friendship and respect for the German people.
Two and a half decades after this momentous event, I believe that we can look at the past and feel, on this occasion, the same enthusiasm that inspired us during those days. The belief that the voice of the people must be heard and that their effort to alter the seemingly unbreakable circumstances of their daily lives, as well as the audacity to radically transform a country and in the end a continent. German Unification propelled the country to the fore of the European continent and I believe that the role that a resplendent Germany played in the integration process after 1990 needs to be praised. Out of the German Unification process came a political model that still shapes our expectations and hopes about the future.
German Unification has been not only a successful story, but also an inspiring example for the nascent democracies of Eastern Europe, Romania included. While I believe that there is more my country can learn from the German example, I believe that Germany also taught the continent a lesson about the necessity of mending the past’s wounds and boldly setting into the new millennium, while harvesting the human potential to the maximum.
Today’s political environment is marked by several issues – starting from the consequences of the economic and financial crisis, that has made a dent on the living standards of many European families, chronic youth unemployment in several European countries, while a humanitarian crisis at our borders elicits solidarity and the need to contain rising xenophobia and populism. At the same time, we need to keep in mind the gains of the past decades – a borderless continent, a nascent global European actor, a free and tolerant society. Maintain all of these gains is the paramount objective of the future years. Maintaining the hope of a united Europe is our duty for the future generations. And all of it only became possible after German Unification showed the continent a glimpse of the brighter future we can achieve if we are able to overcome mistrust and to show true solidarity.
I want to wish the German people the bright future they stood for 25 years ago and I want to ensure them, as Prime Minister of Romania, of my deepest regards and of the full cooperation of the Romanian Government in our desire to build a more united and solidary Europe.

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