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Friday 15.11.2019 | Name days: Undīne, Leopolds, Unda

Eastern Germans less positive about benefits from reunification 30 years on

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An East Berlin citizen (C) embraces a West Berlin woman while an East German border soldier watches on at the border checkpoint Invalidenstrasse after the opening of the East German border in Berlin, Germany, November 9, 1989

As Germany is to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a poll has found that fewer eastern Germans feel reunification has been beneficial than was the case ten years ago.

German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports, a survey published Thursday, November 7, revealed significant differences in how Germans today view the legacy of reunification.

According to the latest Deutschlandtrend report by political research firm Infratest Dimap, a majority of respondents in both western and eastern Germany said that reunification has brought personal advantages, although the results also indicate a negative shift in the east.

Some 60% of eastern Germans said there has been a positive change — a figure that dropped by 7% compared to responses ten years ago when the country was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall.

Positive responses from western Germans, on the other hand rose by five points up to 56% compared to answers from 2009.

In terms of freedom of speech, 69% of survey participants in the east and 83% of respondents in the west said the situation had improved. Career opportunities and the economic situation were also ranked as better when compared to the German Democratic Republic, or Eastern Germany.

Opinions differed, however, when it came to comparing the education systems and early childhood care, with eastern Germans saying the situation today was worse. Some 76% of respondents in the east said that social cohesion was worse today, while only 46% of western Germans agreed.


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