Crisis 'will take years to fix', says Angela Merkel

 

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said there is no easy fix to the European financial crisis, and that a solution will "take years".

Mrs Merkel told her country's parliament that "the German government has made it clear that the European crisis will not be solved in one fell swoop".

She added: "It's a process, and that process will take years."

Mrs Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy are pushing for a reorganisation of existing regulations aimed at keeping the eurozone from breaking apart.

The German leader's address comes ahead of a December 9 EU summit in Brussels where she and Mr Sarkozy plan to propose joint action.

She also told MPs she is sticking to her position that the European Central Bank must remain independent to maintain trust.

Mrs Merkel said she still rejects eurobonds, telling parliament that jointly backed government debt across the eurozone is no solution to the financial crisis.

She claimed the eurozone instead needs a new "stability union" with stronger fiscal controls and debt regulations.

The German leader says the goal of the December 9 summit is to change European treaties "to avoid a splitting of the eurozone and non-eurozone members".

Ms Merkel said that because the crisis is above all one of trust, to move forward "we need to do away with the underlying deficiencies in the fiscal and currency union".

"In order to win back trust, we need to do more. Where we today have agreements, we need in the future to have legally binding regulations."

The eurozone's budget rules have been violated about 60 times over the past decade by a number of nations - including Germany - but no country has been seriously punished.

To ensure that nations are keeping their budgets in check with the limits of the stability pact - deficits not more than 3% of gross domestic product and overall government debt of not more than 60% of GDP - Germany is pushing for the right to take countries in violation before the European Court of Justice.

"We have to win back that trust that was damaged 60 times," Ms Merkel said.

On Thursday, Mr Sarkozy called for a "refounding and rethinking of the organisation of Europe".

He said that without some new "convergence" among European countries, the continent's crushing debt could destroy the euro. Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy are to meet on Monday to finalise their joint strategy ahead of next week's EU summit.

Stock markets across Europe welcomed the calls for more strict regulations through EU treaty changes, rising overnight on Mr Sarkozy's comments. The bond yield for Italy also continued to drop, an indication of improving investor confidence in that country's financial future.

"The current discussion (about joint bonds) does not contribute to solving the crisis," Ms Merkel said.

She also hit back at charges that Germany and France are trying to dominate the EU, singling out those nations whose governments have been forced to push through tough austerity measures and praising their efforts.

"I don't think we can imagine how much these people contribute so that the euro will be a lasting and stable currency," Ms Merkel said. "I would like to express my absolute respect before these efforts, for that is a contribution to Europe's future."

She also rejected an idea floated this week, of taking advantage of a clause in the EU's constitution to allow the eurozone nations to enact their own treaties for governing the currency, underlining that any treaty changes must include 27 member states.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?