East German crisis

The “Initiative New Social Market Economy”, in collaboration with the economic institute IW in Cologne, has published the annual index on the degree of prosperity and economic development belonging to each of the 409 districts of the Federal Republic. The so-called new Bundesländer, whose borders were drawn following the reunification in 1990, continue to slow down. In the ranking the last ten places are occupied by districts of East Germany where unemployment is still twice that in Western Europe. The popular discontent and a strong sense of insecurity dominate among the people from the East, caused by the strong impact generated by the reforms of the government Schroeder, which cut the welfare state (unemployment benefits, health and pensions).  This has sparked protest across former East Germany whose economic and social situation remains precarious. After 20 years from the dissolution of the DDR (German Democratic Republic) the people from the east and the ones from the West seem more distant than ever.  The 49% of German citizens residing in regions of former East Germany consider positively the former German Democratic Republic (DDR). That emerges from a survey made by the Emnid Institute, commissioned by the federal government and published on June 26, 2009 by the daily Berliner Zeitung. This shows how the "Ostalgie", the nostalgia of former East Germany, is still alive even after 20 years from the fall of the Wall.

Reportage made in Saxony (Leipzig, Halle, Wurzen, Bauzen, Gorlitz) and Brandenburg (Berlin).