The heady days of revolution have given way to a winter of hardship in eastern Germany and an acknowledgement by Bonn that conditions are worse than it originally forecast.
The central government on Tuesday was forced to step up a cash infusion of billions of dollars to keep afloat the former communist land, hit hard by widespread unemployment as obsolete factories grind to a halt."The task is much more difficult than we may have imagined," Economics Minister Juergen Moellemann told a news conference in Bonn on Tuesday.
In Leipzig there is resentment to the hard times among those who set in motion the mass street protests that toppled the communist regime of former East German leader Erich Honecker.
"We didn't take to the streets in October 1989 to get this," said Pastor Christian Fuehrer, a leader of the peaceful uprising that led to German unification. He said more than 120,000 city residents have been affected by job cuts.
"We wanted to improve the system. We wanted more humane conditions for the people in our country. Now we have another emergency to contend with," said Fuehrer, the pastor of Leipzig's St. Nicholas Lutheran Church.
Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government in Bonn said Tuesday it was sending about $6 billion to the east this month to help cities and towns cope with financial crises. That's up from $3.8 billion in January.
"Producing unified living standards, of an economic and social kind, will take longer than some optimists, including myself, originally believed," Moellemann said.
The action Tuesday means Bonn will have already spent 40 percent of the money budgeted from the German Unity Fund for 1991. Officials insist the financing will not continue at such a rapid pace and is considered a stop-gap measure.
The new pledge of aid came with an admonition to local leaders to develop their own sources of revenue - a difficult task with so many people out of work.