End of the Berlin Wall

East German leader Erich Honecker, in power since 1971, has resisted the wave of liberalization in the communist bloc unleashed in 1985 by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbatchov.

In 1989, thousands of East Germans moved to West Germany via Hungary and Austria. In October, pro-democracy demonstrations in Leipzig prompt the East German Communist Party to replace the hardliner Honecker with Egon Krenz.

In November, the fall of the Berlin Wall opens the process of reunification: the first free elections in the GDR are scheduled. In 1990, the
Alliance for Germany, in favor of unification, wins the elections; Lothar de Mazière is the prime minister of East Germany.

Driven by Kohl, monetary unification takes place in July 1990. In October, political unification takes place. The East German army is extinguished and the unified Parliament ratifies the Union treaty. Kohl becomes the chancellor in unified Germany.

Unified Germany

According to Computerminus.com, Germany pays a high price for unification. The dismantling of the industrial park in the eastern part causes massive unemployment, which has repercussions throughout the country. The high interest rates set by the Bundesbank (central bank) cause a recession. In a tense social climate, immigrants suffer attacks from neo-Nazi groups. In 1993, Parliament restricted the right of political asylum. Social guarantees, which were the pride of the DGB – Europe’s strongest trade union center – are questioned in the name of improving the competitiveness of German industry on the world stage. Germany’s difficulties are reflected in the successive postponements of measures of greater economic homogenization among the members of the European Union, such as the single currency (postponed to 1999).

In 1994, Helmut Kohl and the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) remain in power, in coalition with the CSU (Social Christian Union) and the FDP (Liberal Democrat). The Social Democrats of the SPD, the country’s second party, are unable to assert themselves as an alternative to the center-right coalition. In May 1994, the two houses of the Bundestag (Parliament) elected Roman Herzog, of the CDU, as president. In October, despite losing votes, the Kohl coalition is re-elected for the fourth consecutive time.

A wave of metallurgical strikes, which started in January 1995, leads to a national agreement in March: employers grant an annual increase of 4% (the IG Metall union demanded 6%) and the progressive reduction of the working day to 35 hours per week. until October 1st.

In June 1995, the Bundestag passed a law that considers abortion illegal, unless it is practiced in the first three months of pregnancy.

End of the Berlin Wall

General data

Official name: Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland)

Nationality: German

Capital: Berlin, Bonn (seat of government)

Language: German (official), local dialects

Religion: Christianity (Catholics and Protestants)

Area: 356,945 km²

Location: north-central Europe

Limits: Baltic and North Seas, Denmark (N), Poland (L), Czech Republic (SE), Austria, Switzerland (S), France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland (Netherlands) (O)

Characteristics: low and flooded plain (N), undulating relief, great lakes and valleys (center), mountain ranges, Bavarian Alps and Black Forest (S)

Climate: temperate

Local time (in relation to Brasilia): + 4h

Population (1995): 81.6 million inhab.

Demographic density (inhab./km²): 228.61

Demographic growth: 0%

Population in the year 2025: 76.4 million inhab.

Birth rate (per 1,000 inhab.): 10

Infant mortality (per 1,000 inhab.): 6

Fertility (number of children per woman): 1.3

Life expectancy (H / M): 73.5 / 79.8

Government regime: parliamentary republic

Administrative division: 16 states

Head of State: President Roman Herzog (since 1994)

Head of government: Chancellor Helmut Kohl (since 1982, re-elected after the country’s unification in 1991 and 1994)

Main parties: Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union, Social Democratic, Free Democratic, Green, Democratic Socialist, Socialist Unity of Germany

Legislative Organization: bicameral – Federal Council, with 68 members elected by proportional representation for terms equal to those of the State they represent, and the Federal Assembly, with 662 members elected by direct vote for 4-year terms

Current Constitution: Basic Law of 1949 for West Germany, revalidated in 1990, after unification (19 amendments)

Currency: Deutschmark

Price (for 1 US $): 1.44 (1995)

GDP: US $ 1,910,760 million

GNP per capita: US $ 23,560

Agriculture: 1% of GDP

Industry: 38% of GDP

Manufacturing: 27% of GDP

Services: 61% of GDP

Annual inflation: 2.8%

Circulation of newspapers (per 1,000 inhab.): 329

Diplomatic representation: SES – Avenida das Nações, lot 44, CEP 70415-900, Brasília, DF, tel. (061) 244-7273, fax (061) 244-6063


Despite the great destruction suffered during World War II, Germany resurfaced in the 1960s. Reunification was a very hard blow; West Germany has borne the brunt of improvements in infrastructure, the environment and industry in the eastern part, although many companies in the East have gone bankrupt, Germany remains a powerhouse in the world economy due to the strong competence of West Germany.


Book: Super Student

Author: Various

Publisher: D’livros

Germany Country Facts Part III
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