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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 20, 1989


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    Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the state of the internal political situation in the GDR, the uncertainty of the future of the GDR, protests by citizens of the GDR in front of the Romanian embassy and the need for change in Romanian apporaches to relations with the GDR
    "Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," November 20, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMAE, Berlin/1989, vol. 3, pp. 64-66. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu
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20 November 1989, 10:30 pm

Cde. Ioan Stoian, [Minister of Foreign Affairs],

We would like to inform you of our impressions of the evolution of the political situation developing in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), its future, and [to send] our proposals regarding the evolution of bilateral relations.

1. The internal political situation in the GDR is still at a critical state. The SED—the party of the Communists—has lost, de facto, its leadership role. Shortly, this will be confirmed de jure by removing Article 1 of the GDR Constitution, which refers to the role of the SED in [East-German] society. The non-Communist parties, which, at this time, have declared their complete independence [of action], as well as the other, recently formed organizations, are exercising a great deal of pressure on the SED and are beginning to have considerable influence on all political decisions regarding the country's future. The current SED leadership is weak and has a transitory character. From the information we have, even the [SED] Secretary General, Egon Krenz, will most likely be changed. "Free elections"—the principal demand of the non-Communist organizations and even some members of the SED—is creating the real possibility that the SED will completely lose hold of political power.

The entire national economy is in a process of change oriented towards decentralization, future privatization and eventual integration in the West German economy. The future of the East German state is becoming uncertain. Even though a territorial re-unification of Germany seems undesired by external factors (the quadripartite powers, neighboring countries, etc.), the two German states will be brought irreversibly closer into a new entity, no matter how [this new entity] might look (confederation, economic integration, etc.). The new Prime Minister of the GRD, Hans Modrow, spoke about this as a "contractual community."

2. The rapid changes that took place in the GDR have, unfortunately, caused some cooling off of the relationship with our country.

The lukewarm political attitudes regarding relations with our country that have taken hold [in the GDR] after the events of 7-8 October have been replaced by outright hostile attitudes which have reached their peak around the 14th Congress of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR): with the knowledge and approval of the authorities, a protest march, degrading [to our country], has been organized in front of our embassy, [while] the mass-media has launched a defamation campaign against our country. [Moreover] the level of participation of the SED delegation at the 14th Congress of the PCR was reduced in a demonstrative fashion. A coordination regarding this attitude between the East and West German political decision aspects is apparent, the East Germans even displaying an excess of zeal. The evolution of the developments in the GDR does not justify the hope that the situation might improve.

3. Considering these factors—at their current level and [in their current] form—we believe that the our whole approach regarding our relationship with the GRD must be changed. In case that the relationship with the SED no longer offers the certainty of stable foreign relations [between our countries], the emphasis must be placed on the [development of] economic relations, while in the other cases, [the emphasis must be placed on] extending the judicial base of the relationship.

Bilateral relations in any particular fields will enter more and more in the competence of the government, while the influence of non-Communist forces in the government is growing. Only a stipulations of judicial obligations of both sides can insure a harmonious and unimpeded development of [bilateral] relations. It would be appropriate to initiate certain governmental contacts, especially in the economic and industry fields, at an appropriate time.

Government sectors in the GDR recently confirmed our [information] that, soon, economic cooperation would no longer take place if [Romanian] businesses would be unable to deal directly with GDR businesses. An economic integration between the GDR and the FRG will [certainly] emphasize the decentralization of the GDR economy. Concerning next year we believe that the volume of [trade] transactions will not be affected. In conformity with our trade agreement, it might even be possible [that there could be] growth [in the volume of transactions], but the [rules of the] GDR market will need to be assimilated (in all aspects: quality of products, marketing, the way of doing business, etc.) the same way as with the western markets.

We believe that is important to continue to promote the important place that the GDR has among our economic partners, without regards to the evolution of the events in the "German question." We are trying to establish contacts with the newly formed government in order to clarify its position regarding bilateral relations [with our country].

(ss)[Ambassador] Gheorghe Caranfil