From the Collapse of the Communist Regime to the Unification of Germany Part V

The party in which the renewal from the grassroots began most rapidly, also accelerated by the religious environment, was the CDU-Est, with the new leader L. de Maizière. Although it was the first to take critical positions, the LDPD delayed in its work of regeneration, until the pressures of the FDP and the competition of new liberal forces did not prevail the tendencies for a radical renewal, which was expressed in the election to lead the party of the scientist R. Ortleb, in the demand for a rapid unification and in the conclusion, under the auspices of the Western FDP, of an electoral alliance with the new FDP-East and the DFP in the Bund freier Demokraten (BfD). After much hesitation, Chancellor Kohl promoted an agreement between CDU-Est, DA and DSU (Allianz für Deutschland), giving it decisive support in the electoral campaign. The two Blockparteien artificially created by the SED in 1948, namely the NDPD and the DBD (the peasant party, actually the organization of the cooperative workers, called the ” country SED ”), remained isolated. The main Bürgerrechtsbewegungen formed the Bündnis ’90 electoral alliance.

The electoral campaign was very intense, characterized by a very strong popular participation and by an incisive presence of the Western Christian Democratic, Social Democratic and Liberal parties. It was conducted without holds barred: with attempts to identify the socialism of social democracy with that of the SED; with attacks by both the SPD and the Bündnis ’90 against the former Block parties ; with attempts of deception by the PDS, eg. with counterfeit Christian Democratic posters in order to induce voters to cast a valid vote.

The result, to the general surprise, was an impressive victory for the Christian Democratic cartel, which bordered on the absolute majority. The vote, rather than the local parties, was given by looking at the parties and leaders of the BRD, and it was above all a vote for rapid unification, but also against any new socialist experiment; therefore the SPD paid the price for its uncertainty, offering a by now unrecognizable image between Brandt’s ” patriotic ” line and Lafontaine’s approach, all centered on fears for the ” costs ” of unification. Other significant results were the disappointing consensus gathered by the liberals, the clear defeat of Bündnis ’90 and the relative revival of the PDS which, combining the vote of the faithful and privileged people of the old regime, with the support of reforming communists, had successfully aimed at fears of unemployment and social crisis. In the last two weeks there had been a real reversal in the orientation of the voters, in view of a rapid unification and in a new climate of great optimism, decisive for the Christian Democrat triumph. The industrialized South, which had already been in the vanguard of the revolution in the autumn, with its massive workers’ vote, the decisive victory for the CDU and DSU (between 58 and 60% for the Allianz für Deutschland) and inflicted the most severe defeat at the PDS (between 11 and 13%), without thereby renewing the old trust in the SPD. This held up better in the agricultural North and in East Berlin, where, as well as in other centers with a strong bureaucratic presence, the PDS obtained its best results (between 20 and 30%).

A coalition government was formed between Christian Democrats, Liberals and Social Democrats, which had the 2/3 majority required for any revision of the Constitution. The leadership was given to the Christian Democrat L. de Maizière, with a clear threefold mandate: rapid unification, democratization, market economy.

According to Relationshipsplus, this was a task for which there was no previous historical experience (especially for a rapid conversion of a fully planned economy into a market economy, and in the imminent prospect of a merger with the much stronger West German and insertion into the EEC) and extremely difficult for the new democratic political class, devoid of any experience in the field of economics and foreign policy, largely formed in church environments, and moreover forced to make extensive use of the old apparatuses.

On May 6, 1990, the municipal elections created the conditions for democratic local administrations; the PDS, in decline and isolated, ended up being excluded from all over the place by the new councils. The districts (Bezirke), established in 1952, were suppressed and the historical Länder, which remained alive in the popular consciousness, were reconstituted: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Saxony.

One of the biggest problems was that of the Constitution. A project still elaborated by the ” round table ” was discarded by the Volkskammer. In the meantime, the idea of ​​temporarily limiting oneself to indispensable revisions of the old Constitution had prevailed, until the GDR had adhered to the Fundamental Law according to art. 23, which was the chosen route in accordance with the response of the polls of 18 March, and as an alternative to art. 146 which provided for the drafting of a Constitution for the united Germany Thus, some essential elements of the BRD legal system (administrative, labor and social courts) were introduced and some essential premises for the market economy were laid,: 85% of industry) entrusted to a new body (Treuhandstelle) in view of their privatization, and the introduction of the right to private property.

From the Collapse of the Communist Regime to the Unification of Germany 5

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