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Billion Mark Loans and Humanitarian Concessions (July 25, 1984)

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Last summer, when the banks loaned billions to the GDR and the federal government guaranteed the loan package, we spoke with good reason of “trust in return for trust.” From the outset, we said that this was not a “business transaction” in the usual sense. The “philosophy” of the loan was something different. It was an incentive to bring movement into intra-German relations on a broad basis and to initiate a process that I would like to refer to as a revitalization of our relations with the GDR. In this sense, the signal we gave through the loan has been answered with a number of positive countersignals.

The GDR let us know that it wants to continue advancing measures in the future that will allow for family reunions [between relatives in the GDR and the FRG]. The federal government can assume that several thousand Germans from the GDR will be able to relocate to the Federal Republic in the course of this year. This, too, is a sign of constructive cooperation.

I can tell you that through its subsidiary in Luxembourg, the Deutsche Bank has made a Eurocredit of 950 million DM (term: 5 years) available to the Deutsche Außenhandelsbank AG in East Berlin at the usual market conditions. The Deutsche Bank will invite other German credit institutions to participate in this loan through their subsidiaries active on the Euromarket.

The federal government approved the contract between the Deutsche Bank and the Deutsche Außenhandelsbank and assumed a guaranty for the loan. No costs will result for the federal budget or the taxpayers. The case of a guaranty claim will not come to pass; the GDR has assured the corresponding safeguards.

The federal government views its decision of today as an important contribution to deepening and stabilizing dialogue and cooperation and to improving relations with the GDR. And I would like to add: this decision has the complete support of both party caucuses in the coalition.

The GDR [leadership] let us know that it passed and will implement a number of measures. These measures were decided upon by the GDR as a sovereign authority:

[A list of the measures follows.]

[ . . . ]

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