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Federal Republic of Germany (1949-1990) Part V

In 1979 she played a key role in setting up the European Monetary System to stabilize European currency parities. In the negotiations between Great Britain and the other partners of the European Community (EC) to reduce the British contribution, the Federal Government took a mediating position. It promoted the admission of Spain and Portugal to the EC. She took part in efforts to ease the tension in the East-West conflict, including at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE; signature of the »Helsinki Final Act« on August 1, 1975) and its follow-up conferences. With regard to the GDR, too, it continued the contract policy begun by the Brandt government (including several transport agreements).

When the policy of détente at the end of the 1970s, v. a. Due to the end of the Soviet stationing of nuclear medium-range missiles (type SS-20) in Europe, interpreted by the western side as a threatening armament, Chancellor Schmidt gave decisive impetus for the drafting of the NATO double resolution (12.12.1979), the v. a. triggered a highly controversial socio-political dispute in the Federal Republic of Germany and led to the strengthening of the peace movement. After Soviet troops marched into Afghanistan (December 1979), the Federal Republic of Germany took part in the 1980 boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow. Because Schmidt At the same time, as the Western allies clung to a détente-oriented arms control policy (especially in relation to the Geneva negotiations on medium-range nuclear missiles), German foreign policy became increasingly isolated at the beginning of the 1980s, without abandoning the double decision. Learn more about Germany and Europe, please click ehealthfacts.org.

The Christian-Liberal Coalition (from 1982)

Divergent concepts by the SPD and FDP to combat unemployment and to reorganize state finances, as well as ongoing disputes within the SPD over defense policy, exposed the social-liberal coalition to ever increasing tensions. With the resignation of the FDP ministers (September 17, 1982) it broke up. On October 1, 1982 the Bundestag overthrew the Schmidt government with the votes of the CDU and CSU as well as the majority of the FDP and at the same time elected H. Kohl to the Federal Chancellor. After the adoption of a new federal budget, which corresponded more closely to the stability ideas of the new coalition, and the (politically intended) rejection of a vote of confidence by the Federal Chancellor (December 1982), the Federal President announced early new elections, from which the coalition emerged stronger on March 6, 1983. The Greens entered the Bundestag for the first time. On May 23, 1984 the Federal Assembly elected Richard von Weizsäcker (CDU) as Federal President. The Kohl government set itself the goal of strengthening personal responsibility and individual motivation. Under the leadership of Federal Minister of Finance G. Stoltenberg (CDU) it combined a savings and consolidation program (including reduction of the federal government’s net debt) with a tax reform (to be carried out in stages). With legislative means (Employment Promotion Act and others) and improvement of the economic framework conditions, she tried to reduce unemployment. At the same time, their stability and supply-oriented economic and financial policy implemented far fewer radical market reforms than was the case in Great Britain and the USA at the same time.

Domestically, the Kohl government experienced a number of crises and controversies. The problem of the census intensified the internal political disputes over data protection, the explosion of one of the four reactors in the Soviet Chernobyl nuclear power plant (April 26, 1986) the controversy over the safety of nuclear power plants in general. A party donation affair (“Flick Affair”) put a strain on domestic politics. After the federal elections of January 25, 1987, in which the FDP and Greens gained votes, the CDU / CSU and SPD lost votes, the CDU / CSU and FDP were able to under Kohl nevertheless continue their government. In terms of foreign policy, the Kohl / Genscher government relied on pronounced loyalty to its Western allies, especially the USA.

In November 1983 the Bundestag approved the deployment of American medium-range missiles in the Federal Republic of Germany, accompanied by numerous protest rallies by the peace movement. The government supported the disarmament initiatives of the world powers. The rapprochement between the USA and the Soviet Union made it possible to dispense with the Pershing IA missiles and the medium-range weapons agreement (INF Treaty of December 1987). In 1988/89, a controversy arose within NATO about the short-range nuclear missiles remaining in Europe, which threatened the two German states alone, which raised fundamental questions of defense strategy.

At the same time, after the crises of the 1970s, European unification experienced a renewed impetus from 1985 onwards, with considerable sympathy from Kohl, the French President F. Mitterrand and the EC Commission President J. Delors , which was reinforced again by the reunification of Germany.

Compared to the Schmidt government, the Kohl government pursued a policy of stricter normative demarcation with, in some cases, increased cooperation towards the GDR. This policy reached a climax with the visit of the GDR head of state and party E. Honecker from September 7th to 11th, 1987, which was accompanied by more intensive contacts within Germany at various levels.

Federal Republic of Germany 5