Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsForecasts

Bonn Rejects East's Plea for New Aid, OKs Some Help : Europe: East Germany's Modrow goes home disappointed. He aims for swift economic change.

February 15, 1990|WILLIAM TUOHY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BONN — East German Prime Minister Hans Modrow, his feelings hurt and his plea for financial aid rejected, left Bonn on Wednesday promising that his lame-duck government will press for economic reform before the national elections scheduled for next month.

Modrow, who had conferred Tuesday with Chancellor Helmut Kohl and other West German officials, met with West German businessmen and industrialists Wednesday before returning to East Berlin. He had come seeking up to $9 billion in immediate financial aid to shore up East Germany's economy but returned virtually empty-handed.

West German officials said there could be no substantial aid until after the East German elections, scheduled for March 18.

Theo Waigel, the West German finance minister, did announce that the Cabinet had approved adding more than $4 billion to the 1990 budget for East German recovery projects, but this money will be allocated to capital projects already proposed and will not be available for day-to-day expenses, he said.

Aside from this, the only achievement in the two days of talks was agreement on forming a joint commission on monetary union, but even this would not go into effect until after the elections. The commission is to meet for the first time next Tuesday in Bonn.

"It has become obvious that the results of this entire visit cannot be calculated in concrete numbers or concrete things," an obviously chagrined Modrow told reporters before leaving.

Modrow and officials who accompanied him also complained that the West Germans lectured them and treated them like indigents.

"They had a schoolmaster's attitude toward the East German delegation," said Sebastian Pflugbeil of the opposition New Forum, a member of the delegation.

Helmut Lueck, a spokesman for the East German Christian Democrats, said: "The West Germans have a certain tendency to behave like Big Brother, which damages the pride and identity of East Germans. We acknowledge that (the people) don't want to be just taken over, but economically we have little choice."

Christa Luft, the East German minister of economics, said the West Germans had gone into the talks unprepared and with a lack of concern for her government's problems.

"We're still waiting for the other side to present just a half-piece of paper (on monetary union)," she said. "We brought a thick plan, with numbers, dates and proposals for economic development. All this talk about stalling by our government does not wash."

But West Germany's Waigel rejected the accusations. He noted that Modrow's delegation came to Bonn hamstrung by a warning from opposition groups not to hurry into economic union under pressure from Bonn.

"If a transitional government comes here which has no room for negotiations, then the accusations take care of themselves," he said.

West German businessmen who met with Modrow said the East Germans should move quickly in a number of economic areas, particularly in lifting restrictions on private investment.

"There's too much of a focus on March 18," said Wolfgang Roeller, president of the West German Banking Assn.

Klaus Murmann, president of the West German Employers' Federation, said, "One can't deal with these laws in three weeks."

Tyll Necker, president of the West German Federation of Industries, said Modrow "assured us he will push through an intensive working program of reform before the March 18 elections."

Modrow was given a distinctly low-level reception, Spartan by comparison with the regal reception in 1987 for Communist leader Erich Honecker, who was ousted in last year's upheaval.

An East German newspaper, Neues Deutschland, commented: "Bonn has lost no opportunity to weaken the Modrow government in order to push down the price for reunifying the two states. The path to unity seems to be strewn with many stones and little bread."

Meanwhile, Kohl's government welcomed the news from Ottawa, where foreign ministers of the four principal Allies of World War II and the two Germanys announced agreement on procedures for talks about German reunification.

"The West German government greets the creation and contents of the Ottawa agreement," a Kohl spokesman told reporters.

The agreement calls for the two Germanys to negotiate between them on the domestic issues of reunification and, in effect, to come up with a blueprint for the merger. The United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union would then confer with them on the external and security issues of reunification.

Once the six nations reach agreement, the plan would be presented later this year to leaders of the 35 nations taking part in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the West German foreign minister, stopped in London en route home from Ottawa, and after conferring with British officials predicted that the six nations will have a detailed unification plan ready within months.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|