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«I like Germany so much that I prefer there to be two«. This was one of the phrases that were uttered 25 years ago when the reunification between the German Federal Republic (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was still in the making. Helmut Kohl He recalled in his memoirs another phrase from that time, pronounced by Margaret Thatchet: «We beat the Germans twice and now they are back«, Which expresses the misgivings that the British leader had towards the german reunification.
The previous statements are a reflection of a historical moment that occurred when the Berlin Wall fell (1989) and Germany and the rest of Europe wondered what consequences the end of the Berlin would have for Germany. Cold War.
October 3, 1990 is the date Germany was reunited, four decades after World War II.. The Government of Bonn and Helmut Kohl knew that they had the opportunity of a lifetime and did everything they could to ensure that the integration of the five regions that were part of East Germany were integrated into the FRG.
Kohl promised a very promising outlook in February 1990 and even set out to forecast economic prosperity to the territories inherited from the GDR after reunification.. "We see no need to raise taxes to fund German unity," Kohl claimed in May 1990, a promise that he has failed, in fact to this day, a ‘solidarity tax’ is still in force.. The Länder of East Germany have received over the years two billion euros to make reunification possible.
On July 1, 1990, the monetary and economic reform took place, then the German mark entered the former GDR. The consequences of this policy have been clearly observed: the quality of life of the Orientals has improved, the prefabricated buildings have disappeared and the infrastructures have been modernized.
To this day, and despite all the difficulties, 80% of Germans consider that the unification has been positive. The German Government recently published a report stating that the reconstruction had been successful, although the Ministry of Economy produced another report that warned about the existence of problems that had not yet been resolved. The German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin admitted in another report that the East and West regions are still far from achieving equality.
The unification led to the privatization of state companies in the East. The German state that took over the external debt of the GDR, which caused a monetary issue and a spectacular growth of the fiscal deficit. The other cost of the German unit was paid by reducing the unemployment insurance, family allowances and increasing the retirement age.
The unification also meant an enormous destruction of productive forces: two thirds of the industrial GDP of East Germany disappeared and unemployment rose to levels never before experienced by the population of the GDR.
On Saturday 3 October 2015 the commemoration events for the unification of Germany were held in Frankfurt. High-level political figures from Germany were present, such as Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Joachim Gauck, President of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert and President of the Bundesrat, Volker Bouffier.
After 25 years of a united Germany, the country has shown to be the major european powereconomically speaking, and has also assumed an important political role within the European institutions and during the euro crisis.