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Both German states are shaken by the economic crisis. Consumer goods begin to become scarce in the GDR as the people-owned economy  has long ceased to be competitive. East Germany has run up a mountain of debt to foreign countries.

For the first time since the 1950ies, unemployment figures in West Germany hit two million. The high unemployment rate is a crucial test for the government. The parties of the social-liberal coalition are at serious odds with each other. Eventually, the Federal Ministers of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) leave the coalition. With the votes of the conservative CDU/CSU MPs as well as those of numerous FDP politicians, CDU leader Helmut Kohl is elected Federal Chancellor.

What else happened?

Under the umbrella of the church, a peace movement is formed in the GDR.

The new transit autobahn connecting Hamburg and Berlin is completed. The West German government had paid the GDR 1.2 billion Deutsche Mark for the construction.

The young German high school student Nicole wins the Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Ein bisschen Frieden” (“A Little Peace“).

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