BONN SWEETENS TERMS OF SWAP FOR EAST MARKS

BONN SWEETENS TERMS OF SWAP FOR EAST MARKS

The West German government Monday rejected the Bundesbank's plan to exchange East German marks for deutsche marks at 2-to-1 ratio for salaries, calling instead for a 1-to-1 rate.

The government also dismissed the central bank's suggestion to allow 2,000 marks a person in savings to be exchanged at the 1-to-1 rate.The federal government's plan, outlined in a statement released Monday, calls for double that amount, or 4,000 marks in savings and cash to be exchanged at a 1-to-1 rate. Funds above that amount are to be exchanged at a 2-to-1 rate.

There was no immediate comment from West Germany's central bank. A spokesman would say only that the outcome "was a political decision."

Karl Otto Poehl, president of the Bundesbank, had argued strongly for a general 2-to-1 exchange rate, and his deputy, Helmut Schlesinger, indicated that a rejection of the Bundesbank plan could result in higher interest rates. Central bankers have warned of inflationary consequences from a too-generous exchange rate.

Analysts did not react pessimistically to the government's decision, saying that if East Germans didn't spend all their money at once, inflation wouldn't result.

They also agreed that the Bundesbank wouldn't raise its interest rates at the next meeting on May 3 simply to spite Bonn for not accepting the central bank's recommendation.

In East Berlin, government leaders responded favorably to the proposal. East German Prime Minister Lother de Maziere reportedly called the 1-to-1 rate for 4,000 marks in savings and cash "a good negotiating point." He is scheduled to meet with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl today to discuss the plan.

In its statement, Bonn noted that representatives of the Bundesbank took part in the "intensive talks" between the government and the coalition. A government spokesman said both Mr. Poehl and Mr. Schlesinger took part in the discussions Sunday, but said no Bundesbank representatives were present during the Monday morning talks.

Bonn gave special consideration to the economic and social development of both Germanys, and to the stability of the deutsche mark, the statement said.

The agreement forms the basis on which Bonn will negotiate a formal agreement with East Berlin. West German officials still want to conclude an accord by July 1.

Bonn's proposal calls for the current level of East German salaries to be exchanged at a 1-to-1 rate. With this offer, the West German government said it rejects any additional transfer payments, as had been requested by East Berlin, and it also insists that East Germany introduce price reforms.

According to the statement, the government and the coalition are "united that the further salary policies will have a large meaning for the competitiveness of (East German) companies."

Analysts stressed this point, saying that if East German industries are to be competitive, a proper salary structure after the introduction of the deutsche mark is essential.

The plan also calls for savings and cash of up to 4,000 marks to be exchanged at a 1-to-1 rate.

This amounts to yet another slap in the face for the Bundesbank, which called for a maximum of 2,000 marks to be exchanged.

All other money and credit, including debt, should be exchanged at a 2-to- 1 rate, the proposal says.