Walter Romberg

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Walter Romberg
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-0129-027, Dr. Walter Romberg.jpg
Minister of Finance
In office
April 1990 – August 1990
Prime Minister Lothar de Maizière
Preceded by Uta Nickel
Succeeded by Werner Skowron
Personal details
Born (1928-12-27)27 December 1928
Died 23 May 2014(2014-05-23) (aged 85)
Nationality German
Political party the Social Democratic Party (SPD)

Walter Romberg (27 December 1928 – 23 May 2014)[1] was a German politician who was the last finance minister of East Germany.[2][3]

Career and activities[edit]

Romberg was a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD).[4] He was appointed minister of finance to the cabinet led by prime minister Lothar de Maizière on 12 April 1990[1] following the first free elections of East Germany which had been held on 18 March 1990.[5] Romberg was one of the senior social democratic members of de Maizière's cabinet.[6] On 19 May 1990, the West Germany's finance minister, Theo Waigel, and Romberg signed a state treaty to merge their economies and make the West German mark the sole legal currency in both nations by 2 July 1990.[7]

Romberg was removed from office on 15 August 1990[1] due to his support for the challenging clauses in a political unification treaty governing the allocation of tax revenues. He also angered the West German officials with his continuous demands for more cash help to bail out the weak East German industries and to finance welfare payments.[4] The other reason for his removal was related to the East Germany's rapidly deteriorating economic status.[6] Romberg was also fired due to his warnings about the reunification in terms of its economic burden and his critical and even pessimistic approach towards it.[8][9]

Werner Skowron succeeded Romberg in the post.[1] Following the dismissal of Romberg, SPD left the coalition on 20 August 1990, and called it unconstitutional.[10][11]


In 1991, following the unification, Romberg stated in a conference held at Humboldt University that the West German leadership did not comprehend the huge differences between two countries' economic patterns.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "East German ministries". Rulers. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Carol Diane St Louis (2011). Negotiating Change: Approaches to and the Distributional Implications of Social Welfare and Economic Reform. Stanford University. p. 170. STANFORD:RW793BX2256. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Redaktion neues deutschland. "30.05.2014: Walter Romberg gestorben". Retrieved 2014-06-02. 
  4. ^ a b Moseley, Ray (16 August 1990). "Cabinet Shakeup In E. Germany". Chicago Tribune. East Berlin. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "East Germany's foreign minister quits". Daily News. 21 August 1990. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Marshall, Tyler (16 August 1990). "Two ministers are fired and two resign. The moves could raise tensions in a multi-party coalition as merger with Bonn nears". Los Angeles Times. East Berlin. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Protzman, Ferdinand (19 May 1990). "Evolution in Europe; Germanys Sign Pact Binding Economies". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ a b Peter H. Merkl (1 May 2004). German Unification. Penn State Press. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-271-02566-7. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Peter E. Quint (3 March 1997). The Imperfect Union: Constitutional Structures of German Unification. Princeton University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-4008-2216-4. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Gerhard A. Ritter (5 May 2011). The Price of German Unity: Reunification and the Crisis of the Welfare State. Oxford University Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-19-955682-3. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Marshall, Tyler (20 August 1990). "Shaky Coalition Regime Folds in E. Germany". Los Angeles Times. East Berlin. Retrieved 12 September 2012.