Tuesday

5th Mar 2024

One fifth of Germans want return of Berlin Wall

Over one in five Germans want to see the return of the Berlin Wall, according to a Forsa Institute survey due to be published tomorrow by Stern magazine.

The survey shows that 21 percent of Germans responded positively to the question, "do you wish for a return to the Berlin Wall?".

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Almost a quarter (24 percent) of citizens from the former Western Germany said they wanted to see the Wall back, compared to 12 percent from the former Eastern Germany.

The poll also highlights divisions within Germany over the costs of reunification.

Over one third (37 percent) of Eastern Germans believe that the money transfers made towards the poorer Eastern half of the country have been "too little".

Exactly the same percentage of Western Germans, however, think the transfers have been "too much".

However, the majority of Germans from both "halves" of the country believe that the 1.25 billion euro transferred to the East since reunification has been "just right".

The Berlin Wall - a symbol of division not only in Berlin but throughout the whole of Cold War Europe - fell in 1989.

Since then, despite transfers of money to the East, there is still an economic imbalance between former Communist Eastern Germany and its Western counterpart.

Unemployment levels in Eastern Germany are almost twice as high and tensions have been increased by Gerhard Schröder's economic reform programme, which have also sparked anger in the East.

The Forsa Institute interviewed 1,002 people from Eastern Germany and 1,005 from the West.

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