Neues Deutschland (New Germany), the former official press organ of East Germany now turned left-wing journal, reports (g) on a poll of Germans from both the West and former East on their attitudes toward reunification. A few of the more interesting findings:
- 75% of East Germans see the reunification of Germany as bringing them more advantages than disadvantages, as opposed to only 48% of West Germans. 25% of West and 15% of East Germans say reunification had mostly negative consequences.
- East Germans under 29 have a 96% favorable view of reunification
- 78% of former East Germans believed the school system of the former East Germany was superior to that of West Germany — up from 76% who believed this in 1995.
- Majorities of former East Germans also have a positive view of East Germany's social insurance system, equality between the sexes, and healthcare. 57% of East Germans find the West German political system superior, but 19% of East Germans still prefer the ways of the German Democratic Republic.
I don't have much to add here, except that nobody should be surprised that West Germans have a mixed view of reunification, given that they have been paying a special additional tax (the 'solidarity surcharge') for the past two decades to assist in reunification. Nobody likes taxes, and many who supported it in 1997 think it's time to get rid of it.