Following a long period of illness, the former socialist prime minister of Hungary, Gyula Horn, 81, has died in Budapest. His last public appearance was at his 75th birthday on July 5, 2007, notes Népszabadság.
Minister for foreign affairs in the Hungarian government of 1989, he played a key role in the political process that led to the end of communism in eastern Europe, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.
His name was directly associated with the falling of the Iron Curtain, in particular on the border between Hungary and Austria where he and his Austrian counterpart Alois Mock symbolically cut a barbed wire fence separating the two countries on June 27, 1989.
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