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Bonn, Berlin Battle Over Seat of Government

February 19, 1991

BONN, Germany (AP) _ The fight over which city will host unified Germany’s government intensified Monday with a new report claiming that up to one-quarter of Bonn’s population will have to relocate if the government moves to Berlin.

The report also showed it would cost between $34 billion and $41 billion to move the facilities of the the old West German government to Berlin, united Germany’s capital.

The Bonn city government commissioned the study by the economic research insitute Prognos, which said the move would force about 99,000 people to leave Bonn and its surrounding suburbs for Berlin, City Manager Dieter Diekmann said Monday.

Bonn leaders have been lobbying since long before the Oct. 3 reunification of the two Germanys to keep the government seat in the former West German capital.

They have argued that moving costs are too prohibitive at a time when Germany faces many other financial obligations. Pro-Berliners contend their city is Germany’s historic seat of government and should reclaim that title.

Berlin was named Germany’s capital in the treaty outlining the conditions of unification. But which city would host the government was left to the newly elected Parliament to decide.

Diekmann also demanded a quick decision by government on the issue.

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