The GDR and the FRG became a single state in 1990, but East Germany never made an exact copy of the country that the great Konrad Adenauer once created. The difference lies in the political, cultural and economic spheres. At the same time, the real fate of the country is decided mainly by the Germans from the West. The opinion of the inhabitants of the eastern part is not always considered significant and people often cannot protect their rights or worldviews. After that, one should not be surprised that far-right and far-left ideas are so popular in the 5 eastern federal states.
The following situation illustrates this problem well. It is one of the consequences of the Ukrainian conflict and the confrontation between the EU and Russia. Until February 2022, the authorities of the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Russian company Gazprom were negotiating the possibility of building plants for the production of hydrogen from natural gas supplied via the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. The enterprise was planned to be located near the city of Lubmin. At that time, almost everyone unanimously approved this project, which was supposed to bring additional funds to the budget of the poorest federal state in Germany and create many new jobs. The region’s prime minister, Manuela Schwesig, was then seen as an effective leader who was taking care of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s residents.
After the war in Ukraine started, due to sanctions, the German authorities generally wanted to abandon the use of Russian gas pipelines, including Nord Stream-2. Automatically, this means abandoning the construction of a plant, multimillion-dollar budget revenues and new jobs. Thousands of people who could have found stability and prosperity will now be deprived of this. However, the German authorities do not care about this.
Perhaps it was difficult to avoid the deterioration of economic relations with Russia, but this is a good reason to compensate for the damage to the inhabitants of the region, to take care of them and think about its future development. Unfortunately, this did not happen even in words. The minds of representatives of political parties and the authorities of the country are occupied with completely different questions. Moreover, what they say and do is more like a farce.
The region’s prime minister, Manuela Schwesig of the Social Democratic Party, can be treated differently. Maybe she was looking for her own benefit in a contract with the Russians, but then there was nothing criminal in this. On the issue of building a gas processing plant, Schwesig clearly wanted the best for the region and attracted Russian investment. Now she is being persecuted and she may become a victim of a “witch hunt” and “agents” of Putin and Russia.
Apart from shock and bewilderment, such statements cannot cause anything. Also, the USSR of the Stalinist era with its “people’s enemies” immediately comes to mind. It is not for nothing that many sceptics call the EU the “European Union of Socialist Republics”. This is a hint precisely at the policy of repression, which European officials repeat, albeit gently, but also in principle.
The parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern created a commission to investigate the proximity of the government of the federal state to Russia. It is clear that such actions are just a primitive attempt to eliminate their political rivals, against whom the Greens and the CDU cannot win elections. Now anyone can be called “Putin’s spy” and all problems will be solved in a magical way.
The opposition cynically states that the ruling SPD and the “Left” in the region do not admit “mistakes” and present their policy as “caring for the population and the economy of the region.” It seems like the fight against abstract Putin is the goal of every German, but earnings and industrial development are an unnecessary convention.
The Greens openly state that they see in Schwesig and her government the “last idiots” who tried to be friends with Russia, and are glad that they can get their political benefit from a fabricated case. This party is now trying to attack Schwesig’s “climate” fund, because, due to their green political “terror”, she was forced to motivate the creation of the plant not with taxes and jobs, but with its environmental friendliness.
Residents in eastern Germany prioritize the well-being of their families, high wages and budget growth for the development of their regions. However, liberals and socialists from the parties that were once founded in FRG, although not all of them, are often ready to easily sacrifice these goals for the sake of “victory over Putin” and “environmental transition”. They do this with the thought that the Germans from the former GDR are primitive barbarians, and FRG citizens are the pinnacle of civilization and knights of honor. This creates a political and mental gulf between the adequate part of German society and those either insane or cynical politicians.