Germany in Its Greatest Day
By Genc Mlloja
Albanian Daily News
Published October 3, 2017
As Germany celebrates 27 years since its reunification on October 3 this year, Albanians of different walks of life see that event, which was preceded by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, as an unprecedented historical process, the end of division of that country and people and their impressive effort to come to terms with the past.
The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, marking the climax of a trend that was similar to a revolution, while the German Unity, in constitutional terms, was completed on October 3, 1990.
Albanian Daily News asked politicians, diplomats, and analysts specialized on German affairs on their opinion over the impact of those events not only on Germany but on Europe, the world, and Albania. Another question put to them was how they considered the efforts being made in some countries, including Europe, to erect new walls in face of the influx of immigrants and refugees, especially from war affected areas.
"The year 2017 coincides with the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of the diplomatic relations between Albania and Germany, but these relations obtained the genuine dimension and the stable platform having the vision towards a common Euro-Atlantic future following the fundamental changes after the 1990s," said Ambassador Arben Cici, Director of Cabinet of the President of Albania.
In the meantime Tritan Shehu, a former Foreign Minister, said that this day is great not only for Germany but also for all those aspiring something good and stable in history, why not even the building of not only the EU, but even the Unites States of Europe.
Seeing the economic aspect of things Gjergj Buxhuku, General Director of AlbKonfindustria, was of the opinion that the interests of Germany comply with the economic interests of Albanians. "The clear focus of the German investments is in strategic sectors like infrastructure, water, energy, seaports, airports, including the support to the judiciary in Albania which shows the long-term interest in the Albanian lands," he explained.
As far as the question of the erection of new walls was concerned analyst Armand Plaka saw that phenomenon with great concern, and according to him the return of the preventive and splitting mentalities, and the spread of an Eurosceptic spirit should be confronted with more flexible and adequate politics not to allow the further growth of extremist political movements.
Arben Cici, Ambassador, Director of Cabinet of the President of Albania
The midnight of October 3, 2017 marked the beginning of a new horizon for Germany, the entire Europe, but also for the whole world. A new era started in the international relations and geostrategic dynamics of the world politics.
The reunification of Germany restored a negated right of the German people, an injustice which laid its roots in the cursed foundations of the Berlin Wall and expanded in the East- European part up to the shores of the Adriatic, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and beyond. This Wall is the memory of one of the most painful periods of the German people and the European history, and the most shameful deed in the history of creations and European architecture.
The midnight of October 3 is the prelude of the new European and world architecture and its foundation stone; the powerful appeal to the unjustly oppressed people to overthrow dictatorships and build a system of "freedom and democracy" was heard even in Albania of that time and turned into an inspiration for the political overthrow and the beginning of the democratic changes in this country.
The year 2017 coincides with the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of the diplomatic relations between Albania and Germany, but these relations obtained the genuine dimension and the stable platform having the vision towards a common Euro-Atlantic future following the fundamental changes after the 1990s.
These new relations toppled down the ideological walls and laid the tracks of cooperation with a special multilateral partner based not only on the European values. They are cherished by the common Euro-Atlantic interests and the contemporary challenges which we are facing at bilateral, regional and global levels.
These relations get stronger with each passing day and the last evidence was the official visit of President Ilir Meta to Berlin and the successful talks with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier only a week ago.
The perspective of the progress of these important relations in the bilateral aspect, but especially at Balkan level, requires the strengthening of the sound foundations to face storms and challenges. The future of these relations excludes the building of new walls of any form and kind.
More than at any other time, the United Europe and the Balkan countries need to be together to build bridges and avenues of cooperation in the service of the "freedom and democracy" not only for Germany and the EU, but also for their friendly and allied countries, not only for the people of Europe, but also for all the people who still suffer from the heavy burden of injustices and inequalities in the countries where they live.
Tritan Shehu, Former Foreign Minister
This day is not "great" only for Germany, but in reality it is as such for the entire New Europe, for all those who aspire to a united society of values and freedom. The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the great resurrection of the united and democratic Europe, put an end to the great divisions and led Germany towards a new role in Europe and the world, that of a leading country for building and accomplish the great dreams of those who confronted fascism and Nazism, and with bravery and vision launched the illuminist signal of peace, coexistence, fundamental rights and freedoms from Ventotene. So this day is great not only for Germany but also for all those aspiring something good and stable in history, why not even for the building of not only the EU but even the Unites States of Europe.
This day is also as such for us, Albanians, for us, the peoples who proved the iron curtain in the most miserable way in our entire being. The fall of that notorious Wall, which in fact divided not only Berlin or Germany, but separated two worlds, would be the great signal of a new world, free and united, without hatred and wars. It is exactly so how we in Tirana experienced that unforgettable night strongly kept in the memory of our dreams.
Unwaveringly, even now, this united Germany is one of the core pillars not only of the values but of the expectations for the further strengthening, consolidation and development of the United Europe. Unwaveringly this Europe is not now simply an idea, an aspiration, but a great, necessary, vital reality for the protection and going forward along the path of those ideals which started to become a reality after the fall of that Wall for all, even for those who were in the tragic side of it.
Without any doubts this is valuable especially for our country, Albanians wherever they are, the people of the Western Balkans, who aspire Europe and the West, who consider Germany as an irreplaceable supporter and inspirer in this difficult path but the only one leading to development, democracy and existence of real values.
Gjergj Buxhuku, General Director of AlbKonfindustria
The reunification of Germany has extraordinary values for the entire world. First of all, it is the Albanian nation wherever they live in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia etc. that profited greatly from that event.
Firstly, the reunification of Germany brought the end of the Cold War and formalized the disintegration of the Socialist Camp headed by the Soviet Union. It was clear that even in Albania the countdown had started for the dictatorial communist system.
Secondly, the reunification of Germany would mean directly the significant strengthening of a state, which has historically been among the rarest friends of the Albanian nation. This was also accompanied by the obvious drop of the power of Slavs who were a majority in the Socialist bloc and old enemies of Albanians. It is not accidental that the independence of Kosovo and the strengthening of the Albanian factor in the region happened within less than a decade since the reunification of Germany.
Thirdly, the reunification of Germany would mean its further economic strengthening from which Albanians wherever they are have profited during all these years. Germany would turn into the main financial supporter of Albania, Kosovo etc. This has been done through direct investments and aid in strategic sectors of the economy, and even through financings of the EU in whose budget Germany's contribution is almost one-third. Even the latest initiatives for the creation of the Common Regional Market come from Berlin.
The interests of Germany comply with the economic interests of Albanians. The clear focus of the German investments is in strategic sectors like infrastructure, water, energy, seaports, airports, including the support to the judiciary in Albania which shows the long-term interest in the Albanian lands.
The problems which have recently appeared in the EU and the stance of Germany to preserve the common market, the enlargement politics, the euro etc. are clear signs of the compliance of the historical issues of long-term interests of our two nations.
Armand Plaka, Analyst, Researcher
The reunification of Germany has a really true meaning. In the first place, it constitutes the most major act of people who are conscious of their future, and even though being unjustly divided by history found the best way towards progress. Secondly, its meaning, of course, trespasses the borders of Germany, and even those of Europe.
The German reunification and closely linked with it, the fall of the Berlin Wall, an act which preceded the reunification, turned into a symbiosis of the efforts of all the oppressed people in Eastern and Central Europe, who threw away the communist yoke joining the big European train, the Euro-Atlantic values and the major efforts for democracy and social development.
Also, it constitutes an act through which we realize that the efforts for restoration and senseless insistence in failed and utopian dogmas are fruitless in the new realities of the world. Despite interpretations, it is the occasion to evaluate also the good-intention efforts of the leadership of that time in both sides of the globe and the continent like Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush (the senior), Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and Francois Mitterrand, and undoubtedly the Father of the Reunification of Germany, the late Chancellor, Helmut Kohl.
The fall of the Berlin Wall is a homage to the sacrifices of those people who laid down their lives to oppose a regime since its genesis, a totalitarian system whose end would be, in any case, a question of time even though it seemed that the Wall and that system would continue to stand even for 100 years more.
In the meantime, the erection of new walls in Europe, a phenomenon which is still evident, especially in the former communist East should be seen with great concern. The return of the preventive and splitting mentalities, and the spread of an Eurosceptic spirit, should however be combined with more flexible and adequate politics not to allow the further growth of extremist political movements.