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Unified Germany (Map Courtesy PCL Map Library)

Great public displays accompanied these changes, but the realisation of the economic disparity between East and West soon emerged. However, as their industries were dismantled or 'restructured', many soon found themselves taking the brunt of unemployment. For example, by mid 1990 plans were established to fire 15,800 of the 20,000 East German border guards (Australian 1990). Unemployment rates in the older towns of eastern German are often double those of western areas, with unemployment as high as 24%, e.g. in Templin (Cohen 2001). Estimated unemployment rates of 11.7 for 2003 and 10.2 for 2004 (DFAT 2004) can thus still translated into local areas of higher unemployment.

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