Reuniting Europe

Who defeated communism?

A high official from the European People’s Party said yesterday that his party alone defeated communism, while other parties were ‘blind’.

I have a lot of consideration for the role of European Christian Democracy during the Cold War, but I think many actors contributed to the fall of the Berlin wall. I also hope that this is not the EPP official position, because if so, this could stir unnecessary controversy.

As a Bulgarian national, I remember in particular a visit to Sofia of French president François Mitterrand in January 1989, when at his request the French Embassy organised a breakfast with Bulgarian dissidents, defying the regime of Todor Zhivkov. However small this event may look, I think it accelerated events leading to the collapse of the communist regime in that country on 10 November that same year. Mitterrand is not EPP, as everybody knows.

What I would like to say is that the appropriation of a historic success by any political party is wrong. ‘Party’ means part of the society. Big historic events happen because the great majority of the society wants change.

And I mean even in Russia. Gorbachev was playing a dangerous game (dangerous for him in the first place), but he took the risk knowing that the Russian people wanted glasnost and perestroika.

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