Some West Germans may sneer at the East but the Ossis have a hunger for success and a yearning for challenge - two stimuli that promise to revitalise the whole German nation.
The euphoria has long since evaporated. Three years after the breaching of the Berlin Wall, the two far-from-united halves of recession-struck Germany snarl and grumble at each other. Even the normally up-beat economics minister, Jurgen Mullemann, now admits that East Germany is still far from self-sustaining recovery. The West Germans increasingly believe that they are carrying all the burdensome costs of reunification - with transfers and subsidies currently running at an astonishing £53.7 billion a year - while the Easterners do nothing but whine and hold their hands out for more. "Besser Wessis; jammer Ossis" is the sneering slogan you often see scrawled on walls in comfortable Munich and arrogant Frankfurt, meaning roughly "West best; East bleats".