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Helmut Kohl's Ten-Point Plan for German Unity (November 28, 1989)

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl surprises the public by presenting the Bundestag with a multi-step plan for unification with a democratizing GDR. The first step was closer cooperation between the two German states; this would be followed by the formation of a confederation and finally by the establishment of a federation that was compatible with East-West détente and European integration.

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First: To begin with, immediate measures are required as a result of the events of recent weeks, particularly the tide of refugees and the new scale of tourist traffic. The federal government is prepared to provide immediate assistance where it is needed. We will help with humanitarian aid and also with medical provisions to the extent that this is desired and useful.
[ . . . ]

Second: The federal government will continue, now as before, to cooperate with the GDR in all areas that directly benefit people on both sides. This applies particularly to economic, scientific-technological, and cultural cooperation. It is especially important to intensify cooperation in the field of environmental protection. Here, it is already possible, regardless of how things may develop, to make swift decisions on new projects. The same holds – and here, the Federal Postmaster General has initiated relevant talks – for the earliest possible and most comprehensive extension of telephone links with the GDR and the telephone network of the GDR. [ . . . ]

Third: I have offered to expand extensively our assistance and cooperation, if a fundamental transformation in the political and economic system of the GDR is definitively accepted and irreversibly set in motion. For us, and especially for me, "irreversible" means that the GDR state leadership reaches an understanding with the opposition groups on a change in the constitution and a new election law.

We support the demand for free, equal, and secret elections in the GDR, in which independent – and, of course, that also means non-socialist – parties participate. The SED must give up its monopoly on power. The demand to introduce constitutional conditions means, above all, the abolition of laws on political crimes and, as a consequence, the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, economic assistance can only prove effective if fundamental reforms of the economic system follow. This is demonstrated by the experiences of all COMECON states; it has nothing to do with lecturing on our part. The bureaucratic planned economy must be dismantled.

We do not want to stabilize conditions that have become untenable. We know: there can only be an economic upturn if the GDR opens itself up to Western investment, if it creates conditions for a market economy and enables private economic activity. I do not understand how one can raise the reproach of tutelage in this context. Every day, Hungary and Poland offer the GDR – likewise a COMECON member – examples that it could readily follow.

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