The vast majority of Germans are happy about the country's unification and believe it will promote European unity, a poll says.
The Wickert Institute, a West German public opinion institute, said it questioned 7,044 adults in 422 cities and towns in East and West Germany Sept. 7-27 in what it called the first such extensive all-German poll since the end of World War II.The results released Tuesday contradicted those of another recent poll that indicated Germans were growing cool toward unification. The Wickert Institute said its findings were that 87.7 percent of Germans in East and West were happy about unification, which occurred Wednesday just after midnight.
Another large majority, 92.3 percent, said unification would promote the growing together of European nations, and 88.3 percent said it would help reduce tension in Europe and the world.
Germans also were optimistic about the future, with 79.3 percent saying unification in the long run would bring more advantages to them personally than disadvantages.
Combining facts and figures
NAME: Federal Republic of Germany.
POPULATION: 61 million in West Germany plus 16.6 million in East Germany, for a total of 77.6 million people.
SIZE: West Germany's 95,975 square miles plus East Germany's 41,768 square miles. Total: 137,743 square miles, or more than half the size of Texas.
NATIONAL FLAG: The West German flag, with broad horizontal black, red and gold stripes, with no emblem.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: West Germany's current national hymn, which is part of a poem called "Deutschlandlied," or "German Song." It uses a melody written by Franz Josef Haydn in 1797. Its opening words are "Unity, and justice and freedom . . . "
CURRENCY: The two Germanys joined their economies on July 1. Since then West Germany's deutsche mark has been the official currency.
CAPITAL: Berlin became the capital of all Germany Wednesday. Bonn will remain the seat of government, with an all-German Parliament to decide whether the government will be moved to Berlin.
GOVERNMENT: Helmut Kohl, West Germany's chancellor, became leader of all Germany today and remains in power until elections to choose a new government and Parliament. The balloting has been set for Dec. 2. Kohl is being challenged by Social Democrat Oskar Lafontaine in the vote.