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One in five 'Wessis' have never been east

The Local · 3 Oct 2012, 09:38

Published: 03 Oct 2012 09:38 GMT+02:00

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The survey, by mass circulation daily Bild, suggested that 21 percent of Wessis, as inhabitants of the former West Germany are known, have never crossed the former border to visit their eastern cousins.

In contrast, just nine percent of Ossis or easterners, have never gone west, according to the poll.

And more than two decades after country was reunited, three-quarters of Germans still see differences in mentality between the two former halves of what is now Europe's top economy and powerhouse.

Only one in five think that job opportunities are as bountiful in the east as they are in the west, a poll commissioned by state broadcaster ZDF showed on Sunday. Whether Ossi or , the majority of Germans were in agreement the idea that living and working in the west was better.

Regardless of the negativity towards the east's economic situation, two-thirds of people said they were "indifferent" to the fact that the country's two top leaders – Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck – are both Ossis.

Merkel was born in Hamburg in the former West Germany but grew up and cut her political teeth in the east.

Opinion was divided on the reparation taxes that western states pay to the east, with 64 percent of those asked in the east saying they thought the payments were fair. Nearly the same amount of westerners said that they were paying the east too much money.

Eastern states will continue receiving support payments until 2019, after which they will have to function without western help. This will be 30 years after reunification.

Story continues below…

DAPD/AFP/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:39 October 3, 2012 by coffeelover
I think this is normal. Historize yourself about this topic as to what happened in the U.S. after the Civil War. I do think it is unfair for "Westies" to feel taxes for 30 years to help pay for 45 years of occupation is too much. This is Germany, not an acquired colony, Westies surely have some common DNA with "Easties". The rest of the world also recognizes the great strides Germany has made since 1945. So all Germans, and especially "westies", should feel proud of their country.
18:59 October 3, 2012 by Englishted
91% came west how many are still here?
22:09 October 3, 2012 by Landmine
Who can blame them? I went to Berlin for work and had to go to the former East Berlin sector. I could not help but notice the difference. The roads were full of pot holes the people looked and dressed differently and one could still see dilapidated houses, some with bullet holes left over from WWII.

And this was just two years ago
15:57 October 5, 2012 by Berliner1978
The wall was up for 50 years and it will take 50 years and the death of anyone who lived that time for things to equal out, even then it may take some more years on top of it.

If I may say so, the German people need to loose some of their respect for authority, as it is used too readily against them by those who aspire to rule. These people exist in any country of course but I think they get further without opposition in Germany.
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