Was the Deutsche Mark Sacrificed for Reunification?


Inquiring minds are looking at another European country…this time its Germany. Did the leaders for Germany and France sell the German people’s currency down the river to allow reunification? There seems to be a little dispute:

As the German people celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall, the governments in Bonn and Paris were secretly haggling over European monetary union. According to internal government documents, the negotiations almost collapsed. Was West Germany’s beloved currency, the deutsche mark, sacrificed at the altar of reunification to win France’s support?

The architect of Germany’s reunification is furious. Current Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, the interior minister under the then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, has deep furrows on his brow as he fires off a series of expressions of his immense dissatisfaction. They are harsh words, but ones the chief negotiator of his country’s reunification treaty does not want to see in print.

Schäuble holds a thick book in his hand. On its cover, Schäuble’s predecessor as finance minister — Peer Steinbrück of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) — looks resolutely into the distance. Not that Schäuble, a member of the governing center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has anything personally against Steinbrück. Schäuble recently listened to a speech Steinbrück gave about democracy and the media. Nor does Schäuble disagree much with Steinbrück’s theories on the financial crisis.

What Schäuble is annoyed about is an unassuming sentence in the second chapter of Steinbrück’s book, hidden in a long treatise about the “lame duck” that is Europe. “Abandoning the deutsche mark for the (equally) stable euro was one of the concessions that helped pave the way to German reunification,” Steinbrück wrote.

There aren’t very many political statements that can rile the long-serving Schäuble. But claiming German unity was achieved by way of a swap against the deutsche mark is clearly one of them. “No such trade-off ever occurred,” Schäuble insists. The question of European monetary union had played “at best a minor role” in the decision-making on German reunification.

Steinbrück, however, is convinced he is right. He says that for anyone who meets with French government representatives, this theory will be backed up dozens of times.

The most interesting item above has nothing to do with the crux of the story…The Deutsche Mark. It is that in Germany…just like the USA, that the RINO gets along so well with the Socialist. In this story it is the center-right politician (liberal Republican) agreeing with the Social Democrat (aka Socialist). In the US it would be the RINO agreeing with the Blue Dog Democrat.

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