German National Day: Leaders celebrate 29 years of unification

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German Chancellor, Angela Merkel

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were in the northern city of Kiel on Thursday for commemorations marking the country’s reunification 29 years ago.

They were joined by the President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schaeuble, and the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Guenther, in signing the city’s Golden Book. They were, however, expected to attend an ecumenical service, followed by an official ceremony, during which Merkel and Guenther would deliver a speech.

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The national celebrations for German Unity Day are traditionally hosted by the state that holds the Bundesrat Presidency, which is currently Schleswig-Holstein.

However, Germany will be marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9. This, it said, gave impetus to a process that eventually led to the reunification of the former states of East and West Germany on Oct. 3, 1990.