German newspaper editor apologizes for front page on Kohl

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the architect of German reunification, died on Friday (16 June), the mass-selling newspaper Bild reported.

Juncker described Kohl as the "very essence of Europe". When he hosted Mr Lee in Germany in 1996, he commissioned a regional dish that he reserved for special guests - a type of sausage delicacy called saumagen, made of spiced meats, encased in a pig's stomach and boiled.

Kohl, who led the centre-right Christian Democrats, was the longest-serving chancellor of the 20th Century.

Kohl was married for 41 years to Hannelore Renner, an interpreter of English and French who stood firmly but discreetly by his side.

Once viewed as a provincial bumbler, Kohl combined an understanding of the worries of ordinary Germans with a hunger for power, getting elected four times.

"He didn't take into account what we had said to him, namely that Germany would be united and the Soviet Union would collapse".

Of overwhelming character and physique, Helmut Kohl - who according to his sons sacrificed the family for politics - then retired from public life.

In a telegramme, the Pope sends his "heartfelt condolences" for the loss of the "Chancellor of Unity".

While German authorities are yet to give details of the funeral arrangements, reports suggest that following the ceremony in Strasbourg, Kohl's body will be transported along the Rhine to the town of Speyer where a funeral in the local cathedral is planned. The world has benefited from his vision and efforts.

"A life has ended and the person who lived it will go down in history", said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In a poignant gesture of reconciliation in 1984, Kohl held hands with Mitterrand during a ceremony at a World War I cemetery in Verdun, France.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans for a formal EU farewell in Strasbourg - the first such event in EU history - to honour Dr Kohl's contribution to unity in Germany and Europe. "He will be remembered in Russian Federation as a staunch advocate of friendly relations between our countries, as a person who made an enormous contribution to the strengthening of mutually beneficial bilateral partnership and good neighborhood".

Vanessa Coleman