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Germany

Experts Disagree on East German Reconstruction

The release of a report on the future of Germany's eastern states has been marked by criticism and infighting among members of the government commission charged with examining the status of the federal aid program to rebuild the east. "This report isn't ready to be presented to the government," commission member Helmut Seitz wrote in an open letter to the group's leader, Klaus von Dohnanyi. Seitz said the report represented Dohnanyi's opinions more than any group consensus. The report suggests doing away with the infrastructure aid that's been given to the states belonging to the former communist East Germany ever since German reunification in 1990. Dohnanyi instead proposed to use government funds to support businesses in the east. The federal ministers in charge of the economy and eastern reconstruction, Wolfgang Clement and Manfred Stolpe, have criticized Dohnanyi's proposals, saying there are still large infrastructure gaps in the eastern states which need to be addressed.