Merkel warns eurozone crisis will go into 2013

12/18/2012 07:22

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday warned that the eurozone crisis is not yet over, calling it the biggest issue since German reunification.

Speaking to foreign journalist in Berlin, Merkel said the eurozone crisis was the issue that had occupied her like no other since German reunification, adding that "in all my life I have never thought so much about Greece."

She said European and domestic issues had merged and that she could not separate the concerns of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Germany because "we all sit in the same boat together."

Asked whether she is as committed to the idea of Europe as her mentor, the ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl, she said "I am certainly not lacking in compassion and love for Europe."

Looking back at EU efforts to end the debt crisis that has battered Europe, she said: "A lot has been achieved in Europe in the past two and a half years.

"But in my view we have not yet arrived at the end of the road and still have some way to go," she told a press conference solely for foreign media in Berlin.

"Still, I am convinced we are on the right path, even if this means great challenges for many in the European Union, and the greatest, most severe challenge is certainly youth unemployment.

"It‘s not the young unemployed people‘s fault that mistakes were made in the past."

She said current reforms, including recently agreed bank supervision, would make Europe more competitive on the world stage in the age of globalisation.

On indebted Spain, she denied media reports that she had advised the government to seek a bailout and said it was up to each country to make their own decisions.

"I reach my own decisions with my government here in Germany and I respect and presume that all other governments do the same," she said.

She added: "I wish Spain great success ... I know what tremendous efforts (Prime Minister) Mariano Rajoy has made to overcome the difficult situation. He has my full support."

In her end-of-year press conference to foreign press, she also pointed to conflicts such as in Israel-Gaza, in Mali and the wider Sahel zone, and the "terrible conflict" in Syria, which will see Germany deploy defensive Patriot missiles on the Turkish border. dpa fxz mat  EuropeOnline

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