Flags will fly at half-staff in Berlin on the day of the funeral of late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday, the city of Berlin announced.
“We would like to pay due tribute to our honorary citizen and to what he has done for political change in the German Democratic Republic,” said Berlin’s interior minister, Iris Spranger.
Mikhail Gorbachev had prepared the ground for the reunification of Germany, which took place just a year after the fall of the Wall on October 3, 1990, Iris Spranger said.
Politicians from all German parties expressed their gratitude to the former Soviet leader, with some calling for a street or square in Berlin to be named after Gorbachev.
Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) leader and state premier Markus Zender called for a ceremony to be held as a tribute to the deceased. “Germany owes him a lot, he is one of the fathers of reunification and he offered freedom to millions of people,” he said in an interview with the Münchener Merkur newspaper to be published tomorrow, Friday.
At the other end of Germany’s political spectrum, Gregor Gizi, former leader of the radical left party (Die Linke), also called for a memorial service for the last Soviet leader that would highlight the differences between Gorbachev and today’s Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Yesterday the president of the Christian Democratic Union Friedrich Merz advised the leadership of Germany to attend the funeral of Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow, if there is a similar invitation. “For my part, I advise the leaders of the states and governments of the European countries to accept the invitation if this happens,” said the German politician in an interview with Bild TV.