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Germany

Schröder Criticized Over D-Day Plans

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has been criticized for his plans to take part in commemorations of the 60th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, France on Sunday. The Bild-Zeitung tabloid quoted well-known German authors Walter Kempowski and Ralph Giordano as saying it was "very sad" that Schröder had decided against visiting the main German cemetery in La Cambe. It showed that Germany still had not accepted its past, they said. Schröder responded to criticism for avoiding the German graveyard from the conservative Christian Social party and the liberal Free Democratic party on Friday. He stressed he would visit a soldiers' cemetery where Allies and Germans were buried and commemorate the German dead. In a guest commentary in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper on Saturday, British Foreign Minister Jack Straw welcomed Schröder's participation in the celebrations, saying it was "a symbol of the long way Europe has come." "Now we have finally left war behind us on our continent," Straw wrote.

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