In addition to the realization of the Economic and Monetary Union, the 1990s saw the enlargement of the European Union. Although the German government supported the accession of Central and Eastern European states, many segments of the German population viewed Eastern enlargement with skepticism. Workers, in particular, feared competition from low-wage laborers through so-called wage dumping, which undercut the relatively high German wage standard.
The photo shows unemployed construction workers at a protest on March 14, 1997, in Berlin. The wooden crosses are supposed to symbolize their future. The signs on the crosses read: “Here lies the German construction worker; cause of death: the EU; undertaker: Kohl & Co.”