Capitalists Say East Berlin Putting Out Welcome Mat
Communist East Berlin is giving a flashy welcome to about 500 capitalists attending finance talks on the other side of the Berlin Wall, and a Japanese banker said Wednesday that he is impressed with Marxist hospitality.
“The (East German) border soldiers even greet me because they recognize me now,” said Takeo Shinde, a spokesman for the Bank of Tokyo.
Shinde is among about 500 finance executives from several countries staying in East Berlin hotels for the World Bank-International Monetary Fund talks in West Berlin.
Hotel rooms in West Berlin are booked full because of the meetings, so many attending the financial talks are staying at the communist sector’s few luxury hotels.
The new guests are expected to add about $270,000 to East Germany’s coffers, say sources within the country’s ruling Communist Party who spoke on condition of anonymity.
East Germany, which denounced the debt policies of the industrialized nations in the past, now has gone all out to please its special guests. It has arranged tours to the world-famous Pergamon museum in East Berlin and to the nearby historic city of Potsdam and let them breeze through normally lengthy border checks.
Alan F. Delp, a senior vice president of the First National Bank of Chicago, is among several executives of American banks staying in East Berlin.
“The pleasant surprise has been that it is so easy to go back and forth. Very honestly, it couldn’t be easier,” he was quoted as telling the Joint Annual Meeting News, a special English-language daily newspaper published by organizers of the talks.