Merkel says euro zone crisis far from over



Reuters

Published — Monday 31 December 2012

Last update 1 January 2013 2:51 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

BERLIN: The euro zone sovereign debt crisis is far from over even though reform measures designed to address the roots of the problem are beginning to bear fruit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said in her New Year's address.
In a taped interview to be broadcast yesterday evening, Merkel urged Germans to be more patient even though the euro zone crisis has already dragged on for three years. She drew a line linking German prosperity to a prosperous European Union.
"For our prosperity and our solidarity we need to strike the right balance," Merkel said. "The European sovereign debt crisis shows how important this balance is.
"The reforms that we've introduced are beginning to have an impact," she said. "Nevertheless we need to have further continued patience. The crisis is far from over."
Merkel indirectly contradicted Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble with those comments. In an interview on Friday in Bild newspaper Schaeuble said the worst of the crisis was over.
Germany has been the paymaster in the euro zone crisis, to the chagrin of many German voters and a growing bloc of conservative lawmakers in Merkel's coalition. Germans remain wary of euro zone bailout efforts but give Merkel high marks for what they consider to be her judicious handling of the crisis.
Merkel, who is seeking a third term in an election in September, proudly pointed out that unemployment in Germany had fallen to its lowest level since reunification in 1990 while the number of people employed had also risen to record highs.
"That means that many hundreds of thousands of families have a secure future," said Merkel. "And that means that a lot of young people have the security of training and jobs and thus will get off to a good start in their careers."
But in face of slowing economic growth, Merkel also warned that conditions could be more difficult in 2013 than in 2012.
"I know that many people are naturally concerned going into the new year," she said. "And the economic environment will not in fact be easier but rather more difficult next year. But we shouldn't let that get us down; rather it should spur us on."
Even though Merkel's conservative party holds a commanding 10-point lead in opinion polls over the Social Democrats (SPD), the center-left opposition SPD and their Greens allies have a chance of taking power because Merkel's coalition allies, the Free Democrats (FDP) have slumped badly and may not win seats.
Political analysts believe Merkel nevertheless still has the most options to form a government after the vote. She could lead a right-left grand coalition with the SPD as she did from 2005 to 2009 or a coalition with the pro-environment Greens party.
Merkel said she hoped there would be more controls next year on international financial markets — a popular issue in Germany that the SPD is planning to make a central plank of its 2013 election campaign.
"The world hasn't sufficiently learned the lessons of the devastating 2008 financial crisis," she said. "Never again can we allow irresponsibility like back then to happen. In a social market economy, the state is the guardian of order — and that is something people should be able to count on."

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Employees of the Education Office in Al-Daer governorate, Jazan, where seven people were gunned down on Thursday are in a state of shock and perplexed as to what prompted the attacker — a teacher — to take such an extreme step.The teacher, id...
JEDDAH: The campaign to support Syrian refugees with all their needs is being carried out effectively, as per the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman....
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs has ordered the allocation of separate sections for female members of municipal councils.This was announced by Jedaie Al-Qahtani of the ministry. “This is in implementation of Clause 107 of the...
DAMMAM: The 9th Saudi Student Conference which is being held on Feb. 13-14 is sponsored by Umm Al-Qura University and hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was organized by the Scientific Society for Saudi Students in the...
RIYADH: Over the past 10 years, begging in the Kingdom has increased substantially, with the number of organized gangs of expatriate beggars increasing to 85 percent of the total number of beggars, according to Social Affairs Ministry Majed Al-Qassab...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health said it expects its blood donation drive will received 450,000 milliliters (ml) of blood when the Janadriyah festival ends on Feb. 19.Khalid Ibrahim Zobaie, who supervises the blood donation project, said the drive is i...
JEDDAH: The Shoura Council’s decision to reduce working hours in the private sector from 48 hours to 40 hours per week would result in additional operational costs in the sector due to 30 percent higher wages for expat workers, according to Mansour b...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman recently visited a number of ongoing developmental project sites in the Holy City, as part of his efforts to ensure that they meet the set standards and deadlines.During the visit, he said that all the s...
RIYADH: The National Guard Ministry is studying the possibility of having two countries as guests of honor each year instead of one at the Janadriyah festival for culture and heritage, the Kingdom’s most prestigious annual festival.This was revealed...
DAMMAM: The Pakistan International School in Alkhobar hosted their 49th annual prize distribution ceremony to honor outstanding students in the presence of Pakistani Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq and his wife, Nighat Manzoor.Haq appreciated the efforts o...
DAMMAM: The Weaam Association for Family Care in the Eastern Province has succeeded in addressing more than 700 cases of family disputes during the last one year.Abdulrahman Al-Khudair, Weaam’s director of public delations, said: “The association off...
JEDDAH: The Nakheel mall case has continued to grab the limelight, with a number of lawyers now offering their services to the girl who was roughed up by some Haia members in Riyadh. Some people also expressed, through social media, their support to...
RIYADH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh inaugurated this week a campaign tosafeguard Saudi society against bad influences.“The campaign seeks to immunize society in the Kingdom from deviant ideas as well as utter lies and heresies that could...
RIYADH: A Filipino nurse, from Lamitan Basilan in southern Philippines, has been missing since Feb. 6.According to a co-worker at the clinic where she works, the 43-year-old nurse, a mother of one, was last seen at 3 p.m. on Saturday.“She told us she...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj will put in place new measures for issuing Umrah visas for pilgrims from outside the country with the coordination of the Saudi embassies abroad, a local newspaper reported.The new measures will be implemented soon, given...

Stay Connected

Facebook