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Report of the Ombudsman: The East is making progress - but many people are tired of change

2019-09-25T11:44:32.680Z

TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates



Berlin (dpa) - 30 years after the fall of the German government sees significant progress in the economic catching-up process in the East - but there are still big problems.

According to many citizens, we believe that the East will be collectively and individually disadvantaged, said the government's eastern envoy, Christian Hirte, on Wednesday in Berlin. In the face of drastic changes with negative experiences since the fall of the Wall, many people in the East are "tired of change", he said, referring to the digital transformation, the planned carbon leakage, migration and globalization.

Many East Germans still felt like second-class citizens, said the State Secretary. "We can not overburden her. The expectations of the state are greater than in the West. »

Shepherd presented the annual report of the Federal Government on the state of German unity. "The situation in the East is much better than their reputation," he said. The bottom line is there is an extremely positive development since the unit. "The economic, social and social situation in the East is much better than we all expected and imagined 30 years ago."

In recent years, there has once again been a significant boost in alignment with the West. Wages and pensions in the East German countries had increased disproportionately. Unemployment has fallen - instead there is a shortage of skilled workers. The disposable income is on a comparable level with the West because the cost of living is lower. Moreover, according to the report, since 2017 more people are moving from the West to the East than from the East to the West.

Differences in economic performance, according to the annual report, are mainly related to structural factors. These included the small scale of the East German economy, a rural settlement structure and a lack of corporate headquarters of large companies. The society was also because of the exodus of many young people after 1989/1990 older than in the West.

Structurally weak regions, however, would need more support. Not only in the course of the coalition exit new administrations and authorities should be settled particularly in the east. "The state should not withdraw from rural areas on a large scale," says Hirte. The infrastructure must be improved. The aim is to reach a doctor in a reasonable time, to strengthen the public transport and bring fast Internet in the last corner.

Shepherd also warned against a "negative founding myth". The fact that the East today is in a worse economic position than the West is not due to the situation from 1990 - but because the GDR was economically dilapidated. "I think that's a nonsensical nonsense that gives the impression that the West had virtually overrun and exploited the East since 1990. Of course, in the course of privatization, companies in the East have come under the wheels. I do not want to say that we did everything right. »

The Ombudsman continued, "But it is completely wrong for the Treuhand to be responsible for the problems we have today. If Left and AfD think it was all caused by the evil West, that's history beating. "

The Left Group wants a parliamentary committee of inquiry into trusteeship, which had a central role in the transformation of the GDR planned economy into a market economy. Left-wing parliamentary leader Dietmar Bartsch had said that the damage done by the trust was still a major cause of the economic backwardness of the East and political frustration. The left needs the approval of other factions for a committee of inquiry. Support came only from the AfD so far.

Dissatisfaction, according to the annual report, is particularly noticeable in the new Länder when it comes to political issues. According to a survey recently conducted for the Federal Government, 57 percent of East Germans feel that they are second-class citizens. Only about 38 percent of respondents in the East consider reunification to have been successful.

"Worrying" are the approval ratings for democracy in eastern Germany. Almost half of the people in the East are rather dissatisfied with how they work. "This dissatisfaction is also reflected in the significantly different election results in the East and in the West in recent years." This is aimed primarily at the electoral successes of the right-wing populist AfD. She had achieved record results in the state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg in early September.

Bartsch commented on the annual report that unity is advancing in many areas at a snail's pace. "The economic power east was increased in a quarter of a century in relation to the West level only by ten percent. If we continue at this rate, we will complete the economic unit in 2081. »

Communication Körber Foundation

Source: zeit

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