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THE WEEK AHEAD

BONN : A Capital Move?

June 18, 1991

The Bundestag, or lower house of the Parliament, meets Thursday to vote on one of the most divisive issues in unified Germany: whether to keep the country's capital in Bonn or move it to Berlin. Whatever the vote, the decision must be ratified Friday by the Bundesrat, or upper house.

Shifting the seat of government would cost billions of marks and take a decade to complete, the government estimates.

Supporters, including Chancellor Helmut Kohl, say it should move nonetheless to its historic home in the once-divided Berlin. But foes argue that Bonn has served German democracy well for more than 40 years and that funds required for the move could be better spent modernizing the five new German states that formerly constituted East Germany.

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