The EU's European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ordered flags at European institutions would fly at half-mast in Brussels in the honor of Helmut Kohl, a “great European” who died Friday aged 87. Politicians around the world expressed their homage. The former German chancellor will remain in the history linked to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
"In such cases, a lot depends on the people taking decisions. It was very fortunate that the leading countries, at the time, had statesmen with a sense of responsibility […] capable of reaching through the barrier of suspicion towards partnership and trust," the last USSR leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, said. "Helmut Kohl decisively influenced the course of my life, too," German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed.
Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel
Russian President Vladimir Putin send his condolences naming Kohl "one of the patriarchs of European and global politics." He added: “In Russia, he will be remembered as a principled advocate of friendly relations between our countries.” French President Emmanuel Macron referred to Kohl on Twitter expressing gratitude because he was paving the road to "united Germany and German-French friendship." As the longest serving German chancellor, Helmut Kohl is considered to be the architect of the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union (EU) and the euro currency. Helmut Kohl received numerous awards as well as honorary titles. In 1998, Kohl was named Honorary Citizen of Europe by the European heads of state or government for his extraordinary work for European integration and cooperation.