LEAMAN, J., 2003. The economic legacy of German unification [online]. (Web-Enhanced Language Learning project paper). Bristol: JISC. URL: http://www.well.ac.uk/cgol/economiclegacy/intro.asp#back.
The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the economic problems associated
with German unification and to the broader issues relating to Germany in Europe.
With some 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the largest state in the new Europe. It is
geographically central and has borders with nine other countries. It is the core
economy of the region, of the European Union and of the newly formed Eurozone; it
represents 38 percent of total demand within the EU, it is the major trading partner of
every other member of the EU and far and away the biggest trading partner of the
emerging states of central and Eastern Europe. What happens to the German economy
affects every other economy in Europe, directly or indirectly. The current weaknesses
of the Eurozone are in no small measure a result of the particular feebleness of
Germany’s recent record of growth. One of the major factors contributing to this poor
pattern of growth is the economic burden taken on by the Federal Republic in uniting
the economies of East and West Germany. It is therefore important to examine
Germany’s economic development over the first dozen or so years of unity to gauge
both the domestic and international effects of unification.