Ex-research minister Paul Kruger has called on the German federal government to provide special funds in order to boost the expansion of higher education and industrial research in eastern Germany, writes Michael Gardner, Bonn.
Mr Kruger, who is now spokesman for the Christian Democrat MPs of the new eastern states of the Federal Republic, believes a total of 2.8 billion marks (Pounds 1.2 billion) would be required to raise standards in eastern Germany to match those in the west.
In talks with his successor - research, technology and education have now been merged in a super-ministry under Jurgen Ruttgers - Mr Kruger also demanded that a solution be found for about 1,500 highly qualified east-German scientists and scholars who have still not found employment at existing higher education institutions.
Mr Kruger is also critical of the way funds for large-scale research projects have been distributed. The Federal government has provided over 2.7 billion marks for research schemes requiring massive investment levels. But only 90 million marks have been allocated to the new eastern states of the Federal Republic. Mr Kruger thinks this sum should be raised to 400 million marks.