Günter Mittag and Franz Josef Strauß in Bonn (April 6, 1984)
Bavarian Minister President and CSU Chairman Franz Josef Strauß, who had a history of voicing harsh and frequent criticism of the Deutschlandpolitik of the social-liberal coalition, set his own course in inter-German policy after the political changeover in October 1982. In negotiations with Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski, head of the department for commercial coordination in the GDR Ministry for Foreign Trade, Strauß agreed to loans of several billion marks to the GDR’s foreign trade bank. Approved in late July/early August, 1983, these West German loans essentially prevented the GDR from going bankrupt for half a decade. On April 6, 1984, Strauß (right) welcomed Central Committee Secretary for Economic Affairs Günter Mittag (left) to Bonn. (Mittag had already met with Chancellor Helmut Kohl.) During his meeting with Mittag, Strauß emphasized that the Federal Republic would always be a “fair partner” of the GDR.