German Unity Day: Merkel says more aid needed

3rd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 October 2007, Schwerin, Germany (dpa) - On German Unity Day, Chancellor Angela Merkel defended Wednesday the tax burden on the richer west to boost the formerly communist East. Germany's national day, a public holiday, marks the reunification of the two Germanys 17 years ago. The main celebrations were held in the northern city of Schwerin. Merkel, who attended prayers in a Schwerin church and commemorative speeches in the city's main theatre, was speaking on ARD public television. She affirmed her suppo

3 October 2007

Schwerin, Germany (dpa) - On German Unity Day, Chancellor Angela Merkel defended Wednesday the tax burden on the richer west to boost the formerly communist East.

Germany's national day, a public holiday, marks the reunification of the two Germanys 17 years ago. The main celebrations were held in the northern city of Schwerin.

Merkel, who attended prayers in a Schwerin church and commemorative speeches in the city's main theatre, was speaking on ARD public television. She affirmed her support for an aid programme that is to last till 2019.

"Much has been well done, but much remains to be done," she said in reference to the east, where unemployment is high, the tax base low and industry has disappeared from all but a few centres.

At the prayers in Schwerin, Catholic Archbishop Werner Thissen said western Germans had to be more patient and less prejudiced in the long task of bringing the east up to the western level of prosperity.

On the streets of Schwerin, tens of thousands of visitors attended a street festival with music and food on sale from all of Germany's 16 states.

DPA

Subject: German news

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