The Round Table and the government

The GDR government resigned on 7 November 1989. A new cabinet was appointed under Prime Minister Hans Modrow ten days later. In this government, too, the majority of ministers were SED. One of Modrow's first acts in office was to rename the Stasi and announce it would be scaled down.

Exactly one month later, the Central Round Table held its first meeting. It was initiated by members of the opposition groups who wanted to enter into negotiations with the single regime party. Against the government's plans, the Round Table decided to completely dissolve the Stasi. In mid-December, the government began a new attempt to save the most important instrument of the SED's power. Now two new secret services were to be set up, an intelligence service against subversive activities and a foreign intelligence service.

This plan was blocked. Representatives of the opposition at the Round Table laid down an ultimatum and the people stepped up the pressure with demonstrations and strikes. Modrow gave up on his plans in January 1990. He offered the opposition parties and citizens' initiatives the chance to have representatives in the government.

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