Kiel (dpa) - With a ceremony in Kiel the central celebrations for the 29th Anniversary of the German Unification see their official climax today.

Among them are Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Günther as Federal Council President and the President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Andreas Voßkuhle. Merkel and Günther (both CDU) will hold speeches during the ceremony to the state of German unity.

Both politicians have already pointed out that there is still a lot to do in all progress. Günther said on the sidelines of the opening of the Citizens' Day celebrations on Wednesday that there should be no breaks between East and West. "Some of the discussions that are going on at the moment have not taken place in recent years." Politics must get the issue of uniform living conditions under control: "There is no break through Germany in East and West, but have this challenge we in Germany. »

Minister of Homeland Horst Seehofer (CSU) was confident that within ten years the structural differences will be eliminated. "We start from a decade until we have equal living conditions throughout Germany. This applies not only to the new federal states, but also to structurally weak regions in other parts of Germany, "he told the" Bild am Sonntag "(" BamS ").

The Federal Commissioner for the Stasi documents, Roland Jahn, wants more pan-German answers to problems. "We should tackle the problems all-German and not again and again project East-West opposites," said the former East German civil rights activists of the "Passauer Neue Presse" (Thursday). "What is problematic today often has nothing to do with East and West. It's about social issues, about differences between city and country, between different regions. "

According to a survey, only half of Germans perceive Germany as a united country. 50 percent of the 501 respondents see Germany as a unified country, 47 percent not, as the Emnid survey for the "BamS" revealed.

In Kiel, the leading representatives of the Federal Republic also participate in an ecumenical service. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) is also visiting the frigate «Schleswig-Holstein» there.

This time, the federal state organizes the central celebrations for the Day of German Unity because it holds the Federal Council Presidency this year. On Thursday afternoon, Günther will hand over the baton symbolically to his Brandenburg colleague Dietmar Woidke (SPD).

Since Wednesday noon, a two-day civil party has been running in Kiel with a colorful program. On an area mile all 16 federal states introduce themselves. Bundestag, Bundesrat and Federal Government present themselves. To protect the civil party and the top politicians, a large number of police and private security services is present.