The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
East German citizens climb the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate after the opening of the border was announced early November 9, 1989. REUTERS/Herbert Knosowski
Raquel Lopez Leon (R) from the Spanish city of Cordoba takes a tray with breakfast to a resident's room at the SenVital elderly home in Kleinmachnow outside Berlin May 28, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Peter