Interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CDU) said: “There is still a backlog of issues. What happened in the past is a lasting problem.”
Friedrich and Bergner did not elaborate on what needed to be done to help the eastern states in the future. Friedrich stressed the report was just a summary of facts highlighting the current situation.
But former Leipzig mayor and opposition SPD politician Wolfgang Tiefensee was unimpressed. He said: “The language of the report does not always correspond to the hard facts,” newspaper the Berliner Zeitung reported. “Embellishment doesn’t help anyone.”
Matthias Höhn from the far-left party, Die Linke, was also critical saying the reality in the east was different from the more positive picture painted in the report.
Finally, if you travel Europe and you see two German groups at a campground, you might easily be able to distinguish them. Eastern Germans usually sleep in tents, while western Germans prefer to travel with trailers. We did not find a scientific explanation, but one might posit that it's rooted in western Germans' longer experience traveling the world. Furthermore, many young eastern Germans couldn't even afford a car under communism. Trying to buy a trailer would have been more expensive and nearly impossible for most eastern Germans. While those in the west were able to explore beyond their borders, eastern Germans remained practically imprisoned by their government for nearly 30 years -- until 25 years ago.
The problem, then, for Germany is not economic, but political. Because the unification of Germany happened so recently after so many years of division, some citizens bristle at the side effects of living in a nation with such diversity in economic output. Activists from the more economically vibrant areas protest the fact that their tax dollars are being used to subsidize government programs and living standards in the less fortunate parts. But this dynamic plays out in the ., without the regionalist undertones found in Germany. Take, for instance, South Carolina, which gets back in government spending $8 dollars for every $1 dollar its citizens pay in taxes, whereas many states like New York and California get back less than a $1 for every one they send to the federal government.