Germany Is Reunification Failing?Gail E. Schares and Karen Lowry Miller
Try asking Gisela Kern about the freedoms she won after the reunification of Germany. Clutching at a handkerchief and speaking rapidly, the 54-year-old eastern German brushes the question aside. After 30 years as an accountant in Frankfurt an der Oder, a grim city near the Polish border, Kern will soon be out of work. Next month, she will be on the dole, collecting 60% of her $14,370 annual salary. Her husband Manfred, 57, already has lost his job. Their rent has nearly quadrupled, to $353, and their 26-year-old daughter is also pounding the pavement. Yes, Kern concedes, she can travel and speak her mind, "but we're worse off now because we can't work."
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