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timelines:germany_from_gorbachev_mk2

Germany (Gorbachev MkII)

1985

24 March

Major Arthur Nicholson, a member of the US Military Liaison Office in Potsdam, is detained in East Berlin under charges of espionage, then expelled from the city for violation of standard protocols. The period of high tension in the city will continue until the Berlin Incident of June, 1986. The East Germany government demands that Major Nicholson be removed from the permanent staff of the US Military Liaison Office and he will be withdrawn, but the Americans will later retaliate by expelling one of the Soviet diplomats in Washington.

25 March

In the German province of Saarland, Oskar Lafontaine, the charismatic leader of the Social Democratic Party, is elected to the position of Prime Minister (roughly equivalent to a regional governor). He has recently called for West Germany to withdraw its membership from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Various pacifist movements in West Germany, receiving large but anonymous donations, begin a round of anti-American protests to increase pressure on Bonn.

29 March

Soviet Secretary General Gorbachev establishes a National Council on Energy, with East Germany acting as a full partner in development. Flue gas desulfurisation through limestone wet scrubbing is introduced in all oil and coal burning power stations. The resulting gypsum by-product is used to establish a housing products enterprise in Kiev, aimed at integrating photovoltaic cells into housing panels and tiles. It will come to be known as the Berlin Council.

30 April

US President Reagan lays a wreath in Kolmeshoe Cemetery in West Germany. Trying to defend the presence of Waffen-SS graves, the President equates those soldiers to survivors of the Holocaust, creating a damaging scandal and taking German-American relations to a new low. Soviet Foreign Minister, Eduard Schevardnadze states that “the American President has, once again, disgraced his office”.

21 May

Johannes Rau of the Socialist Democratic Party wins re-election in the West German province of North Rhine-Westphalia. Coming only two months after the Saarland result, it throws into doubt the future of Chancellor Helmut Kohl and there are rumours that Rau is seeking to move from the Bundesrat to the Bundestag in order to seek the Chancellorship for himself in 1987.

19 August

Hans Tiedge, the former head of West Germany’s counterintelligence agency, defects to East Germany, revealing that he has betrayed close to two hundred of his own agents to the Soviet Union. West Germany is forced to recall all of its field agents, plunging the service into chaos. It emerges that among those who worked for the same spy ring was an administrative director in the West German army, the personal secretary of the Economics Minister and the manager of a key political lobbyist.

8 October

Large youth protests break out in Britain and West Germany, largely driven by unemployment and race issues. The protest in Frankfurt is hijacked by the right-wing National Democratic Party. Over two nights, Brixton in southern London and Tottenham in northern London are both under a state of siege.

1986

3 March

The leader of the German Democratic Republic, Erich Honecker, becomes the first East German leader to visit West Germany. Honecker praises the Gorbachev reforms, stating that the rest of the Soviet bloc was finally catching up with East German and Hungarian reforms of “consumer socialism”.

21 March

West Germany’s public prosecutor’s office announces an investigation into Chancellor Helmut Kohl to determine whether he lied when he told the police and parliamentary committees that he had not known about collection of illegal political donations or their laundering through tax-free foundations. It is estimated that it will be May before the prosecutor can report on the investigation. Some of Kohl’s political enemies began to consider alternative leadership. Among those being viewed is Lothar Spath, the former chairman of the Bundesrat.

8 June

Beginning of the Berlin Incident of 1986 when East Germany begins to restrict Western access to East Berlin, informally establishing the Berlin Wall as an international border. President Erich Honecker states that this is a necessary anti-terrorism measure. Most countries choose to avoid problems at Checkpoint Charlie and to enter Berlin via Stolpe, some kilometres to the north.

11 June

Denmark and the Netherlands offer to negotiate with the East Germans to restore access for their diplomats. President Erich Honecker of East Germany refuses to consider the option, forcing the intervention of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

15 June

The United States cancels all official exchanges with East Germany in response to the Berlin Incident.

16 June

Soviet Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Berlin and instructs President Erich Honecker of East Germany to rescind the troublesome regulations relating to Checkpoint Charlie. He also takes the opportunity to condemn the United States for the decision to abandon the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. He once again raised the prospect of German unification and suggests a deadline of 11 November, 1988, the 70th anniversary of World War I. He also states that unification will require West Germany to leave NATO, but that this will, in turn, remove the fundamental reason for the creation of the Warsaw Pact.

19 June

President of East Germany, Erich Honecker, is called to a special meeting of his Politburo, where he is asked to step down. The Politburo also asks for the resignations of Prime Minister Willi Stoph, Communist Youth Secretary General Egon Krenz, and Volkshammer President Horst Sindemann. Honecker is replaced by 38-year-old attorney and son of the former Minister of Culture, Gregor Gysi, who has been publicly critical of Honecker for his failure to adopt Soviet-style reforms.

21 July

New East German leader Gregor Gysi announces the arrest of numerous officers of the Stasi, the national secret police. While defending the role of the Stasi in general, he states that “rogue officers” have been cooperating with the Red Army Faction terrorist group. He also confirms he has given the West German government the names of four known operatives and their last known location, along with known details of French group Action Directe. Both terrorist groups are quickly shut down.

5 August

The investigators into corruption in the West German government produce a resolutely neutral report on the possibility of involvement by Chancellor Helmut Kohl. It is enough to relieve Kohl of the pressure that has begun to develop against his leadership and there is increased confidence that the government can win re-election in early 1987.

15 August

Open transit of products is established between East Germany and West Germany. Chancellor Helmut Kohl stated that the two countries had initially disagreed over refugee policy, but quickly moved on to a series of agreements. East German profits from passport sales would be reduced, as it agreed to admit no known terrorist group and only admit refugees who were victims of state or quasi-state persecution only. Laws would also be immediately enacted in East Germany banning the use of torture, capital punishment and committing immediate funding to upgrading of its prisons and street police at the expense of the Stasi. It is agreed that, from 1 January 1987, the beginning of the city’s 750th anniversary, there will be free transit of labour, but West Germany will agree not to permit any citizen of East Germany to travel abroad from their infrastructure without the necessary East German permits. East German First Secretary Gregor Gysi states that the taxes applied to trade will pay for the rejuvenation of the historic heart of the east of the city.

31 August

The new East German leader, Gregor Gysi, announces that the nation will adopt the third stanza of the national anthem of earlier years, commonly known as Deutschland uber Alles. It does not include the more nationalistic first and second stanzas, meaning the same anthem is now to be sung on both sides of the border.

3 September

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announces legislation which will fine companies the sum of $1000 per person for each occasion they fail to check the papers of East Germans wanting to use West Berlin transportation. It will also prevent any refugee from working for a period of five years, though they will receive welfare support. “The Federal Republic will not be a refuge for those fleeing economic conditions”, he states. He states the willingness of the new East German government to enforce immigration is welcome and will save the two governments a combined total of $240 million. As a result, Germany’s Turk and Iranian population will begin to fall and the camps of Turkey will accumulate an additional thirty thousand people over the coming year.

7 September

Johannes Rau is nominated as the Social Democratic Party candidate for next year’s election for the Chancellor of West Germany. He calls for a “neutral corridor” through Europe, with West Germany and East Germany serving as a united demilitarised zone. He pledges to fight unemployment, currently at 8.6%. The party has conceded that he does not have to campaign on the party’s nuclear-free policy regarding energy after Rau argues that it is vital to taking more votes off the Christian Democrats than are potentially lost to the emergent Greens.

20 September

Former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt announces he will not contest the 1987 parliamentary elections and will retire from politics. During his last address in the Bundestag, he states that the Federal Republic should be a “friend and partner to the United States, but not a client”, a clear jab at incumbent Helmut Kohl.

26 September

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and East German First Secretary Gregor Gysi meet in Leipzig to sign an agreement to cooperate on environmental and scientific research. Kohl is particularly pleased by the new East Berlin government, especially the tight restrictions on developing world refugees.

17 December

A week before the commencement of the Soviet New Year holiday, the government throws a Grandpa Frost Parade in central Moscow and announces a massive Red Square celebration for New Year’s Eve, with government-subsidised champagne, hosted on television from Spassky Tower. It will be followed by similar celebrations in Warsaw and East Berlin. By night’s end, East Berlin will become part of the unified city of Berlin. Police units have already opened up communications across the border and the Reconstruction Council has been appointed by the respective governments and has a number of unofficial meetings.

1987

1 January

Innumerable heads of state and government attend the planned demolition of the Berlin Wall, which falls under a pyrotechnic display after twenty-six years. Many speeches marked this day as a landmark event, the beginning of the end of the Cold War period. Over the next six months, pieces of the Wall will be on sale around the world and will become collected objects of art. As Die Welt reported on changes in traffic, the police on both sides became part of a single city command, funded by an appointed metropolis council. Advisors on behalf of major donors to the reconstruction project are permitted to attend and speak at the council, including the Soviet Union, the United States, Great Britain and France.

9 January

Polls in West Germany show that Chancellor Helmut Kohl should be easily re-elected in the Bundestag polls due in a fortnight. Socialist candidate Johannes Rau admits that he may win as many votes from the government as he loses to the Greens. He calls on the Greens to make a commitment as to whether or not they will take part in a government, but the party’s informal leader, Joschka Fischer, refuses to be drawn.

25 January

Helmut Kohl, trading on the euphoria from the recent fall of the Berlin Wall, is returned for a second term as Chancellor of West Germany. The Christian Democrat/Christian Social Union/Free Democrat coalition holds 263 seats (a loss of fifteen) in the new Bundestag, with 168 (-23), 48 (-5) and 47 (+13) seats respectively. This is compared to the Social Democrats on 192 seats (-1). Both major parties have lost votes to the Greens, who take 43 seats and 8.6% of the vote.

16 February

East German leader Gregor Gysi declares his intention to update his nation’s power generation plants. Most of the plants are lignite-based and coal mining forms one of the major industries in East Germany. Gysi states that he has concluded an agreement for natural gas with the Soviet Union and that his nation will commit to at least 25% decrease in coal burning by 1997. He also calls for a united Germany to set targets for producing one quarter of its power through renewable energy by 2015.

3 April

Willy Brandt finally steps down as chairman of West Germany’s Social Democratic Party, giving way to internal criticisms of his leadership. Parliamentary leader Hans-Jochel Vogel succeeds to the position.

17 May

The Soviet Union announces the release of former Stellvertreter des Fuhrers of the Third Reich, Rudolf Hess, from his cell in Spandau Prison, West Berlin, but refuses to disclose his new identity or location. It will later emerge that the former Nazi lived out his few remaining days in the village of Kirkcaldy, just north of Edinburgh.

31 May

Regional elections in West Germany show a swing from the governing Christian Democratic Union to its coalition party, the Free Democratic Party, an advocate of detente with the Soviets. In Rhineland-Palatinate, the CDU loses its majority for the first time in sixteen years and in Hamburg, it suffers a swing of 6.8% against it. Chancellor Helmut Kohl states that he will not allow the vote to “compromise the Federal Republic’s strategic interests”.

3 June

West German Mathias Rust is charged under Soviet law. Soviet President Andrei Gromyko travels to Bonn and advises Chancellor Helmut Kohl that Rust will be detained until his trial can be undertaken, but, if convicted, the Soviets are willing to allow him to serve out his sentence in West Germany. He will also be given the right an appeals process.

10 June

Chancellor Helmut Kohl announces a 3% increase in conventional forces spending after claiming that NATO is being outnumbered by the Warsaw Pact by 230 divisions to 121. Saarland leader Oskar Lafontaine embarrasses the government by pointing out that, in raw numbers, the Warsaw Pact has 2.53 million troops to 1.94 million troops in NATO (and that this does not include four hundred thousand French or Spanish troops). He also states that a war launched by the Soviet leadership would be “crazy”, as NATO tanks and jets are more advanced. Kohl states that the extra money will go to air defence, ammunition and anti-tank weapon development.

17 June

President Gregor Gysi states publicly that it is time for the renovation of the Reichstag building, during concerts in front of the site by pop-music artists from both sides of the East-West divide. The general acclaim which meets him is not, however, the equal given to British pop group, the Eurythmics.

23 June

Berlin celebrates its 750th anniversary, with attendance by Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President Gregor Gysi, who shake hands underneath the Brandenberg Gate. They announce the outcome of a competition to redevelop Potsdamer Platz, with expectations that the area will be completely redeveloped by 1995. The British send Prince Charles of Wales instead of a political representative, while the French are represented by both their President and Prime Minister. Also meeting for the first time are US President George Bush and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. The two issue a joint statement, saying that it is “premature” for any agreement and their meeting should not “generate expectations”. The main purpose of their discussion, according to the communiqué, is “an exchange of personal views about rapid changes occurring in East-West relations”. At the Brandenberg Gate, however, both leaders give landmark addresses. Bush states that, “Humanity can realise a lasting peace and transform relationships so that they are those of enduring cooperation.” Gorbachev replies, “We leave the old world, the world of threats of force, mistrust and struggle, behind. We are entering upon the path to an era of enduring peace”.

19 August

The leaders of East and West Germany, Gregor Gysi and Helmut Kohl, meet in Weisbaden to discuss intelligence and security issues. Gysi highlights recent changes to convert the Stasi into a new National Security Office and projects that staff numbers will be reduced drastically. While some are being transferred into the Interior Ministry, the new Stasi will lose tens of thousands of employees over the next year to form a new core unit of eight thousand agents.

2 September

Aviator Mathias Rust is flown under guard to West Germany, where he is met by police authorities from that country. Chancellor Helmut Kohl states that Rust will spend the next four years in prison for his “provocative and dangerous behaviour”.

3 September

The governments of East and West Germany announce that they have signed a series of bilateral agreements on everything from creating a joint postal service to allowing cross-border exchange of electricity. The most noted is the agreement to eliminate the barbed wire across 1388-kilometre border and to begin phasing down armed patrols.

12 September

The West German government, on behalf of Mathias Rust, lodges an appeal with the Soviet judiciary to reduce the four-year sentence given to the rogue aviator. In the coming weeks, a civilian appeals review committee will reduce the sentence to one year, plus time already served.

20 September

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl states there is definite progress toward the “unity and self-determination of a free, democratic and neutral Germany”. Commenting on recent talks, he expresses confidence that the deadline in November next year and confirms that a further conference will be held in East Germany in the near future.

29 October

The Cessna aircraft rented by Mathias Rust, which caused a stir with its attempted entry to the USSR in May, is flown back to a Hamburg airfield by members of the Soviet air force. It will later be auctioned by the aviation club which owned the plane to a Munich businessman for $85,000.

26 November

An Argentina judge agrees to extradite former SS officer, Josef Schwammberger, to West Germany to stand trial. The ex-Nazi was the commandant of several forced labour camps in Poland during the war and will eventually spend the rest of his life in prison.

24 December

US troops in West Germany complain about the rising cost of living, stating that changes in the exchange rate between the dollar and the deutschemark have meant a doubling of prices in real terms over the past three years. As an example of the impact, the annual purchase of Mercedes-Benz by Army officers has fallen from over a thousand in 1985 to less than 150.

29 December

West Germany’s best known media personality, Werner Hofer, is forced to retire after being accused by Der Speigel of having shown pro-Nazi sympathies during World War II. It is demonstrated that, in 1943, he had praised the decision to execute pianist Karlrobert Kreiten for making “treacherous comments” against the Fuhrer.

1988

21 January

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl acknowledges doubt about security arrangements at nuclear power plants after it is acknowledged that waste transport company, Transnuklear, has shipped nuclear fuels to Pakistan and Libya. He states that nuclear power will be necessary until at least 2010, and that he thinks it “not outrageous to consider” the position of a gradual phase-out of nuclear power entirely after that time. Kohl has recently revealed that, as part of the treaty with the East, a united Germany will be part of the European Economic Community and the West European Union, but will no longer be a member of NATO or the Warsaw Pact. A single market will be established for both economies, but there will be two currencies until an agreement is reached on European Monetary Union.

1 February

The West German and East German marks (currencies) are officially linked for the first time. The East German ostmark will now follow the movement of the West German currency on the market, moving at a rate of one third the exchange value of the deutschemark.

12 February

After a number of pro-democracy rallies in East Berlin, President Gregor Gysi of East Germany announces that he will hold a multi-party election for the Volkshammer in order to ensure that his nation is prepared for confederation with the West. He invites SPD candidate for Chancellor, Oskar Lafontaine, to consult with him on strategy and style.

24 February

On this day, there is a large purge of files by the Stasi, the East German internal security service. This fact is not known at the time, but it becomes clear in later years that about one percent of the entire archives of the service have been destroyed, tens of thousands of files.

13 March

Democratic elections are held for the East German parliament, the Volkshammer. President Gregor Gysi appoints the country’s first non-Communist Prime Minister, Gerald Gotting, as the head of a centre-right coalition. The Christian Democratic Union, backed by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, takes 181 seats in the 400-member assembly, a lead of sixteen seats over the combined forces of the Social Democratic Party and the Party of Democratic Socialism.

17 March

Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany makes a visit to East Berlin and attends a non-denominational service at Sophienkirche, a 1735 baroque church in East Berlin. He also meets with his new counterpart, East German Prime Minister Gerald Gotting.

10 April

A French Mirage jet crashes half a mile from two nuclear plans at Reichersdorf, west Germany. It prompts strong protests by the Green Party, who insist that the continued operations of nuclear reactors pose a serious security and health threat to the German people.

20 April

West German authorities state that, with the relaxation of travel arrangements by East Germany, over 1.4 million Germans have made trips to either side in the past year. Surprisingly, more West Germans have visited East Germany. However, internal migration between the two countries, about fifty thousand in the last year, has resulted in a net loss of ten thousand from East to West. Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Prime Minister Gerald Gotting state the moves are a vindication of Deutschelandpolitik.

25 May

There are vicious attacks on late German politician, Werner Nachmann, who was also president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Four months after his death, it is revealed that Nachmann has defrauded interest paid on a fund intending to compensate victims of the Holocaust.

15 June

East German Chancellor, Gerald Gotting, and President Gregor Gysi, who have become “The Gee Gees” in the international diplomatic colloquialism, turn the soil to begin reconstruction on the Oranienburgerstrasse Synagogue, pre-war Berlin’s largest house of worship for Jews demolished during 1958 after twenty years of neglect.

19 June

Chancellor Helmut Kohl states that West Germany’s growth rate is too low to properly integrate with its eastern neighbour and that, to assist the transition, he will enact a ten percent reduction in personal income taxes over the next eighteen months. He denies that there will be inflationary problems, pointing out that the CPI only rose 0.2% last year in West Germany.

14 July

Soviet state chemical company, Excursus, announces the purchase of a 10% stake in BASF Chemicals for $115 million through a holding company. Excursus has an institutional relationship with majority government-owned energy giant, Gazprom. Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany states that this foreign investment will be reviewed over the next ninety days and that a recommendation will be made to the new unified German government on whether or not to approve the sale. President Gregor Gysi of East Germany welcomes integration of the Soviet and German economies, but calls for limitations on foreign ownership of German companies.

16 August

West German Vice Chancellor Hans-Dietrich Genscher conducts a ten-day tour of Sumeria and Iran, making efforts to improve trade in the region and to propose German involvement in the reconstruction of the region following the Iran-Iraq War. He denies that he is taking advantage of the decline of French economic influence in the region, which has been driven by a grassroots campaign against the Jewish ancestry of the French President.

29 August

West German authorities admit that they have been unable to prevent all Eastern bloc visitors to their country from defecting. In the last year, twenty-five have made their escape by using legitimate visas to get into West Germany and then crossing into other parts of Europe. East German Chancellor Gerald Gotting states that this is similar to numbers who used to risk their lives trying to flee across the no-man’s land next to the Berlin Wall, but that such crossings will become normal fare after German federation in November and his government will not expend monies “trying to prevent the inevitable”.

11 September

West German Defence Minister Rupert Scholz announces that air shows planned for Bitburg and Lechfeld have been cancelled in respect to the victims of a terrible disaster at the Ramstein Air Show late last month. Seventy people were killed and nearly three hundred and fifty injured when members of Italy’s Frecce Tricolori collided in mid-air and crashed into spectators.

26 September

Mathias Rust, the West German pilot who landed in Pskov in May 1987 and was accused of spying, is released from prison, his sentence reduced due to good behaviour. Now twenty years old, he declares his wish to train as a nurse.

27 October

The Treaty on German Settlement is signed in Moscow by the four Allied powers of World War II and representatives from both German governments. It is the final symbolic step to make way for the creation of the new German Confederation on 11 November (just fifteen days away). Plans are already well underway for a week of celebration in Berlin to mark the historic landmark event.

1 November

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announces that the Confederation Treaty, or Treaty on German Settlement, has passed through the legislature, creating sixteen federal states with veto power resting with a majority of the federal states on either side of the confederation. He announces that improved trade with the Soviets has already added $3.2 billion to the German economy.

11 November

In a time of tearful celebration, Germany is reunified for the first time since 1945. The scar of the Berlin Wall is gone. The President of Germany, Richard von Weizsacker, flanked by his two chancellors, welcomes the dawning of a new national era. At 11am local time, the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War One. There is a gathering of all the leaders of the great nations, including crowned heads of state. The evening celebration in Berlin is focused on a restored Brandenberg Gate and it is estimated that about four and a half million people are in Berlin. Despite the shortages of accommodation, choked transport systems and the language barriers with tourists, there is an obvious joy in the city.

1989

7 January

German President Richard von Weizsacker states that the united Bundestag has agreed on the need for Germany to completely rejuvenate its security apparatus as a neutral power. He warns that the unified Bundeswehr will be reduced from 360,000 to 250,000 in order to fund the costs of bringing all technology up to speed. (Many of the older weapons will be sold to Indonesia.)

31 January

Signs emerge that the German confederal system is having problems after just two months with disputes between the chancellors, Helmut Kohl and Gerald Gotting, over the refusal of the East to end its price controls on medicines. Kohl handles the press, angrily denying that there are any problems, but many interpret his shrill tone as a sign that the tension is deeper than leaks indicate.

13 February

Elections are held for a new Mayor of Berlin. Given Christian Democrat majority support on both sides of the former Berlin Wall, it is widely expected that Eberhard Diepgen will be returned to office. However, voters endorse Social Democrat candidate Walter Momper, with a 13% swing against the incumbent. The Republicans, who had expected to win a significant share of the vote, are only able to achieve 2.5% of the primary vote.

15 February

A fire inside a Bonn hotel is regarded as a terrible accident until it emerges that the three victims are members of the neo-Nazi Free German Workers Party, Michael Kuhnen, Friedhelm Busse and Christian Worch. Chancellor Helmut Kohl states that the incident will be thoroughly investigated, but the fire has destroyed any evidence that may have existed.

22 February

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announces that differences within the CDU over health care have been resolved. While there will no longer be price controls on medicines, the government will introduce a co-payment scheme. Patients will pay the first 7DM of any individual medication cost and this will be capped until 1996. After that, they will need to contribute the first 15DM, and thereafter, the amount will be linked to inflation. It also places a cap of 220DM per person per annum for medication costs, after which the government will pick up the tab. The price paid by the government will be negotiated with the major pharmaceutical companies. The scheme will only apply to drugs which are determined to be “approved for use, safe, more effective than alternative therapies, and cost-effective”.

25 February

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl tells US Secretary of State James Baker that he wants missiles for the Lancer aircraft, still on German soil, and other NATO forces and weapons completely out of the country within two years. Baker suggests that the ownership of US technology might be passed to Great Britain, and thus retained in Germany as European Union weapons, rather than NATO weapons, but still be made available to the United States.

21 March

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announces the signing of a protocol with Vice Chancellor Gerald Gotting under which it is agreed that an election will be held in December next year. Rather than the Bundestag being a joint sitting of two parliaments, it will become a single body elected from both sides of the confederation. He also buckles to press demands that he discuss budgetary arrangements, the subject of some controversy, tomorrow.

22 March

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announces that the western half of the country will need to step up subsidies, bank credits and other transfers to the east, to the tune of over $1 billion in this calendar year. Vice Chancellor Gerald Gotting admits that his region is uncompetitive and in dire need of a massive overhaul similar to that undertaken by Poland. While the payments are the cause of some resentment, polls will continue to indicate that the German people have confidence in the CDU/CSU/FDP coalition and it is widely expected that Kohl will win the next election.

24 April

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl dismisses a number of ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle, including disruptive Defence Minister Rupert Scholz. There have been arguments over tax and health care reforms which are making a dent in government support and there are even discussions that the divisions within Kohl’s administration may bring down his government next year.

2 May

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announces that he is opening negotiations on behalf of the European Economic Community with the European Free Trade Association and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. He suggests that a starting point for negotiations may be a common market for all commodities between the three trade groups.

10 May

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl gives an address on the status of Europe, pointing out much improved relations between Leningrad and Berlin. He suggests that the United States has been “reactive” since the rise of Gorbachev and that European friends of Washington need it to develop new policies which “take the lead in the promotion of peace”.

2 December

Former East German leader, Gregor Gysi, states that there is no justification for the continued divisions between the two parts of Germany, signalling to the country that there will be a bipartisan approach to the matter. He also states that Germany and Poland need to seek greater cooperation on immigration, noting that, despite Poland’s democratic government, there are large numbers still seeking to immigrate.

See Also

timelines/germany_from_gorbachev_mk2.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/24 08:34 by Petike