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Focus on German Unification (January 30, 1991)

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But we are not only helping in the Gulf region. We are already making a substantial contribution to stability in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. This involvement – I cannot emphasize this enough – lies in the common interest of the West. All of this is an essential contribution to peace, an investment in a peaceful future, and at the same time an expression of our willingness to assume more responsibility in the world. The costs associated with all of this, costs that we are facing for the first time, go far beyond our previous financial means. Thus, an increase in revenues is inevitable. The federal government will present corresponding proposals, including one for the necessary tax increases.

Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, one of the most difficult problems in our own country is the unavoidable rise in unemployment in the former GDR. Solidarity demands that we stand by each other in this difficult period of upheaval, also when the issue is unemployment insurance. The federal government has therefore scheduled a 2.5 percent increase in contributions for 1991, starting on April 1. Prorated for the whole year, this increase represents approximately a two percent increase over contributions paid in 1990 and is the same for the coming years. At the same time, pension fund contributions will be lowered by one percent. This will endanger neither the size nor the security of any pensions.

[ . . . ]

Source: Policy Statement by Helmut Kohl (January 30, 1991), Deutscher Bundestag, Stenographische Berichte [German Bundestag, Stenographic Reports], 12/5, pp. 67B-90C.

Translation: Allison Brown

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