To create capitalist labor conditions, nationalized businesses, facilities and combines are to be turned into corporations, according to a regulation adopted by the Council of Ministers that obligates all nationalized enterprises to transform themselves into companies, limited liability corporations (GmbH) or stock corporations (AG). A Trusteeship Agency is created for this purpose under the authority of the Council of Ministers. The government further approves a draft law on the right of establishment, which allows foreign firms - formerly permitted only representation - to establish their own branches on the territory of East Germany for the purpose of economic activity.
The Minister of Social Welfare of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hermann Heinemann, demands rapid aid for East Germany. East Berlin must offer its residents a »bonus for staying« if the flood of migrants from East to West is to be checked. The SPD politician strongly opposes the suggestion that East German immigrants should be paid bonuses for returning home. »If we pay such bonuses, even more people will come in
order to get the money. «
Chancellor Helmut Kohl is received enthusiastically by 200,000 people this afternoon in Karl-Marx-Stadt, where he calls for rapid economic and monetary union of the two Germanies. The CDU chairman again rejects requests for billions in immediate aid, saying he refuses to invest billions in a bankrupt system. It is much more important to introduce the West German Mark, he maintains, but economic reforms are unavoidable if that is to be done.
Friday, March 2. In the words of an East German expert, investment of roughly 700 billion marks would be necessary to make the economy broadly »competitive and ecologically eptable.« According to West German Economics Minister Helmut Haussmann, private capital should bear the lion's share of the modernization of East Germany's outdated means of production.
CSU Chairman Theo Waigel believes concern over the economic effects of German unification is uncalled for. He is »deeply convinced that we can do it« and that it will even cost less »than many post-war tasks.« Sects in East Germany are »strongly on the rise.
Government and church are in despair over this development, smuggled in from the West, and see no way of dealing with it,« reports Dominican priest Klaus Funke, commissioner on sects in the Berlin diocese, in Hildesheim. He points out that a prevailing lack of orientation and a major vacuum in political, religious and social life are »just what [the sects] are looking for.«
Uwe Lehmann-Brauns, spokesman for culture in the Berlin CDU, speaks out against the »immortalization« of representatives of socialism on East
German street signs. He proposes restoring in their entirety the East
Berlin street names in use before the Nazi period.
© 1999, Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin