Germany To the Victors Belong the Bills

Integrating the long-divided land will cost the new Bonn government $220 billion over the next four years

The election was to be the stirring climax to 13 months of breathtaking change. As the first all-German ballot since 1932, when Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party won a plurality, Sunday's vote was portrayed as the ultimate moment of a historical closure. A little more than a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall and two months after unification, the polling for a new Bundestag would be a celebration of democracy and the end to years of division.

Although the voting surely was such a milestone, it appeared that Germans felt they had had, at least for a...

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