Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Bill Clinton address a ceremony at Kohl memorial

Vastavam web:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and former US president Bill Clinton will address a ceremony in Strasbourg where former German leader Helmut Kohl will lie in state, the EU announced today.The EU has announced a memorial service for July 1 for Kohl, widely regarded as the father of German reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall and a key figure in European integration.The European Council, which represents member states, confirmed in a statement that speakers would include Merkel, Macron and Clinton.Clinton’s time in office overlapped with Kohl’s in the 1990s when a reunified Germany led efforts to expand the EU and NATO.

European Council chief Donald Tusk, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani will also make speeches.German media, meanwhile, reported Wednesday that tensions had arisen over the planned ceremonies, after Kohl’s widow sought to stop Merkel from speaking in Strasbourg. Maike Kohl-Richter, the former chancellor’s second wife, wanted only foreign dignitaries to speak during the ceremony, according to the weekly magazine Spiegel.

Kohl-Richter relented only after being warned against creating a scandal, Spiegel said. Merkel started her political career as a protege of Kohl but later broke with him when he became mired in a party slush fund scandal. Bild’s former editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann, who is close to the family, told Germany’s DPA news agency that Kohl had made the decision to be buried instead in Speyer “in 2015 together with his wife when his health condition was at a critical state”. Kohl had been estranged from his two sons, both from his marriage with Hannelore.