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Reunification of Germany

A strong drive for reunification developed in East and West Germany in 1990. In East Germany, conservative parties supporting reunification won the elections, and the new government and the force of events proceeded to dismantle the state. Economic union with the West occurred in July, and on Oct. 3, 1990, political reunification took place under what had been the West German constitution. In new national elections (Dec. 1990), the conservative coalition headed by Kohl retained power. The economy of the East largely collapsed, and the costs of reunification and the privatization of state-owned businesses in the East pushed Germany into recession and led to increased social tensions. By 1994, however, the economy had improved, and Kohl led his coalition to a narrow victory in national elections.

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