The People's Chamber adopts the long-awaited electoral law for the first free, secret elections on March 18. The law establishes that the new parliament will be elected for the period of four years and provides for 400 deputies (there have been 500 until now). There are no direct mandates; each voter has one vote, which he or she can cast for a party list or for a political association or joint list. The seats are calculated centrally for the entire Republic according to a proportional representation system. There are no minimum percentages (in West Germany, parties must garner more than 5% of the votes to enter parliament).
The German Federal Bank in Frankfurt announces that from now on, businesses in each German state may relocate or buy firms in their respective neighboring country without permission from West Germany. Until now, West German businesses required a permit from their central state bank.
Hang gliding is on the upswing in East Germany, and six new clubs have formed. In years past, hang gliders were subject to repressive measures, as they were suspected of trying to escape over the Berlin Wall. Because of this prohibition on flying in their own country, they were forced to enjoy their hobby secretly, mainly in Czechoslovakia.
© 1999, Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin