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Kohl pays historic visit to conservative MPs
Photo: DPA

Kohl pays historic visit to conservative MPs

Published: 25 Sep 2012 18:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Sep 2012 18:01 GMT+02:00

Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl made his first appearance in a decade before members of his conservative party in parliament on Tuesday. "These are my roots, here I am at home," he said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, to whom Kohl served as a mentor, welcomed the former head of state to the session, where the 82-year-old was met with thunderous applause. He was accompanied by his wife Maike.

Kohl has been confined to a wheelchair since fracturing his hip in 2008 - and has difficulty speaking.

The ex-chancellor was honoured for his 16 years as head of state, which started 30 years ago on October 1, and ended in 1998. He retired from politics when he left the Bundestag in 2002.

"I know what he's done for our country and for Europe," former defence minister Franz Josef Jung remarked. "They were historic achievements."

But Kohl's public image since he left office - and his relationship with Merkel - have been damaged by the financial corruption scandal in which both he and his fellow conservatives were implicated. He refused to name donors, saying he had given them his word he never would.

Peter Gauweiler from the CDU's sister Bavarian party the Christian Social Union said Kohl's party had treated him "too harshly" during the scandal - and said Kohl's appearance before the CDU/CSU parliamentary group was an important moment.

DPA/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:40 September 25, 2012 by The-ex-pat
What is with "our" politicians and the thumb and index finger standard photo op pose. Do they think it makes them more trustworthy.................?
19:43 September 25, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
He is now an old man and can no longer be held responsible for what he does or thinks, but it is amazing that so much applause comes for a former Chancellor, who let down his own country in so many ways.

It was not just the financial corruption scandal in which both he and his fellow conservatives were implicated, but also such things as the broken promise he had made to the expellees from the former Eastern German territories, which had been illegally confiscated following the 2nd World War.

He was also largely to blame for the introduction of the common Euro currency before the necessary harmonising of tax, social insurance and pensions within the EU had been agreed to. Had that been taken care of first, we would not have such problems now.
22:00 September 25, 2012 by frankiep
Just have to love Monday morning quarterbacks who always know better after the fact. I mean, after all, it's not like he played a major role in peacefully reunifying the damn country after 50 years of division or anything like that. No, no, he just caused a lot of problems.
00:01 September 26, 2012 by avatar009
hi

well good days at 80ts, mr kohl was the one who united Germany and ofcourse, the EU and the single courancy. Germany is making money on single courancy, i think the problem is the ragulation and corruption in some countries. Well big thinking and expantion is positive sometimes, not the WWII style expantion. Considering the main area is important.
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