Presidents and prime ministers threw open snowy frontiers across the old Communist Bloc yesterday, as nine countries joined the European Union’s area of “passport-free” travel.
For the tens of millions of east Europeans for whom foreign travel was almost impossible less than 20 years ago, the removal of old border posts carried huge symbolism.
“An improbable thing has happened – in many areas Europe is becoming one state,” said the former Polish president Lech Walesa, the co-founder of the Solidarity movement that helped topple Communism. “This is the way the world should look.”
Reported in The Independent, 21 December 2007