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E. Germany assails Kohl over aid

Published Oct. 16, 2005

Prime Minister Hans Modrow bitterly criticized the government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl of West Germany on Monday for not providing immediate financial assistance to the East German economy. Since his return from last week's meetings in Bonn with Kohl, Modrow has let it be known that he is angry and disappointed that an expected aid package of about $9-billion has not been tendered.

The Kohl government has decided to extend cash assistance only to the government that will emerge after East Germany's first free parliamentary elections, to be held March 18.

"I can understand the disappointment of many citizens of the German Democratic Republic who ask themselves whether they are no longer brothers and sisters after all," the prime minister said, alluding to years of West German insistence that the people of East Germany are their kin.

He was speaking to the round table of 16 political groupings here, East Germany's most representative political forum in the transition to a democratically elected government after the fall of the hard-line Communists last year.

"But my government can do no more than to continue to make an effort," Modrow said. "I will not beg on bended knees for such a solidarity contribution.

"This is not a matter of party politics, but of national responsibility, which all of us should place on a higher plane."