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Lothar de Maizière's Government Program (April 19, 1990)

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The Monetary, Economic, and Social Union Must Comprise an Inseparable Unit
Proceeding from the offer of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany to the government of the GDR to create a monetary, economic, and social union, the governing coalition has the task of guaranteeing the requisite legal preconditions. In negotiations with the federal government, we proceed from the firm conviction that the monetary, economic, and social union must comprise an inseparable unit, all parts of which must take effect simultaneously. This includes start-up financing, especially in the area of social welfare.

We confirm the oft-made statement that the introduction of the D-Mark to the territory of the GDR should proceed as follows:

- at the rate of 1:1 for wages and salaries,
- also at the rate of 1:1 for pensions, with a step-by-step increase up to a net pension level of 70% after 45 years of insurance payments,
- also at the rate of 1:1 for savings accounts and insurance policies operating as savings, whereby a differentiated exchange procedure should be pursued.

The domestic debts of nationally-owned enterprises, cooperatives, and private firms are to be handled in a more differentiated manner.

Here, the monetary conversion should, in principal, be based on the difference in productivity between the Federal Republic and the GDR. The government is inclined to favor a far-reaching cancellation of domestic debts, particularly in the private and cooperative sectors, in order to strengthen their competitiveness, and to achieve a rate of at least 2:1 for converting the domestic debt of nationally-owned enterprises. Adjustment assistance will also be given to competitively organized firms, for example, by providing debt relief within the framework of typical EC provisions for company reorganization.

Transition provisions applied to Greece, Portugal, and Spain for several years to protect their economies, and we, too, have to agree on comparable protective measures with the government of the Federal Republic.

In adopting the economic and social legislation system of the Federal Republic, we must see to it that the necessary special regulations are in place during the transition period. Here, we have in mind the Saarland model. At the same time, discriminatory economic and trade restrictions should be eliminated. [ . . . ]

Source: "Lothar de Maizière’s Government Program" (April 19, 1990), in Deutschland Archiv 23, no. 5 (1990), p. 795ff; also reprinted in Volker Gransow and Konrad Jarausch, eds., Die Deutsche Vereinigung: Dokumente zu Bürgerbewegung, Annäherung und Beitritt [German Reunification: Documents on the Citizens’ Movement, Rapprochement, and Accession]. Cologne: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1991, pp. 157-59.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

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