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Berlin marks 20 years since fall of the Wall

Leaders from across Europe prepare to join around 100,000 revellers Monday for the 20th
anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, as US Secretary of State illary !linton calls for a ne"
transatlantic push to free those still oppressed#
World leaders join thousands of people from around the $lo%e on Monday to cele%rate the 20th
anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, that som%re %arrier that for almost three decades
sym%olised the divide %et"een the competin$ ideolo$ies of East and West#
&ey political fi$ures that "ere instrumental in %rin$in$ do"n the "all and hastenin$ the demise
of Soviet communism in Eastern Europe are $atherin$ under the capital's $rey s(ies and dri))le
to mar( the occasion "ith a series of events, includin$ the topplin$ of a thousand oversi)ed
dominoes em%la)oned "ith %ri$ht colours alon$ 1#* (ilometres +0#, miles- of the Wall.s ori$inal
path to sym%olise the collapse of the !ommunist re$ime#
/elatively peaceful revolutions a$ainst the Soviet re$ime too( place in one Eastern %loc nation
after another, "ith the success of each su%se0uent nation inspirin$ its nei$h%ours to similarly
sha(e off the shac(les of !ommunism#
1t all %e$an in 2oland, "ith the shipyard stri(es led %y Solidarity trade union leader Lech Walesa
in 1,30, "ho later served as 2oland's first post4!ommunist president# 5 series of small
successes follo"ed else"here across Eastern Europe, culminatin$ in the 6ov# ,, 1,3,, joyful
dismantlin$ of "hat "as once the star(est sym%ol of the 1ron !urtain#
78ne event after another throu$hout the '30s led up to the fall of the Wall in 1,3,,9 says
:/56!E 2;'s <amien Mc=uinness, reportin$ from Berlin#
>ery fittin$ly, Mc=uinness says, Walesa "ill also topple today's first domino#
Nostalgia, ostalgia
?he end of the Wall did not %rin$ an end to all of the Eastern %loc's trou%les# Many "ere to face
decades of economic hardship as their nations stru$$led to catch up "ith the more affluent West#
?he joyful recollections of a "orld4definin$ moment have not entirely concealed the divisions
that still e@ist %et"een East and West, nor a certain lon$in$ for the former East =ermany that has
come to %e (no"n amon$ =ermans as 7ostal$ia9#
7?here are still many pro%lems to overcome,9 Mc=uinness says# 7?here are still economic
pro%lems "hich ma(e the lives of many former East =ermans difficult, mainly hi$h
unemployment#9
7?here is a certain amount of nostal$ia,9 he says, althou$h he notes that the once4divided capital
in particular has come a lon$ "ay to %ecome the 7vi%rant, youn$ dynamic9 city it is today#
1t must %e remem%ered that, 0uite literally, 7a state vanished overni$ht9, Mc=uinness adds#
Leaders from now and then gather to mark the occasion
:ormer Soviet leader Mi(hail =or%achev, "ho "as the &remlin's top man "hen the Wall came
do"n, "ill attend today's cele%rations#
=erman !hancellor 5n$ela Mer(el, "ho $re" up in !ommunist East =ermany, "ill also
"elcome British 2rime Minister =ordon Bro"n, :rench 2resident 6icolas Sar(o)y, /ussian
2resident <mitry Medvedev and US Secretary of State illary !linton#
Mer(el said over the "ee(end that the fall of the Wall "as 7the happiest day in recent =ermany
history9#