A twenty-year assessment of the economic development of the former German Democratic Republic

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Towson University. Social Sciences Program

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Unification of East and West Germany into the Federal Republic of Germany was a tremendous undertaking and should be examined to understand the economic ramifications. Chancellor Helmut Kohl's economic policies made during the German unification, due to political pressures, resulted in the underdevelopment of the former communist satellite state, the German Democratic Republic (GDR), for over twenty years. Chancellor Kohl's successors, Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der and Angela Merkel, initiated several domestic reforms in conjunction with the European Union's Structural Funds? programs to increase the economic development within the five new eastern L?nder. The combination of domestic reforms and EU development aid are proving to be beneficial to the development of the former GDR. These recent successful efforts can give eastern Germans hope that with more time the legacy of past economic decisions will disappear and they can meet their full economic potential.