FRENCH-GERMAN BORDER SHAPES MORE THAN TERRITORY -- The New York Times (Germany and France; 2012)
"SÉLESTAT, France — This ancient town in the center of Alsace boasts the extraordinary Humanist Library, dating from the 15th century. But less proudly, Sélestat also has an unemployment rate of about 8 percent, much higher than towns just across the border in Germany.
Emmendingen, a German town of 27,000 that is only slightly larger than Sélestat and barely 20 miles away, has an unemployment rate of under 3 percent. Among those under 25 years of age, the unemployment rate in Sélestat is 23 percent; in Emmendingen, it is 7 percent.
The divergent economic circumstances of these two towns are striking, particularly given the cross-border cultural ties in the region. The reasons for the disparities, much debated, have emerged as a focal point of the French presidential campaign."