Bloomberg, Dec 31, 2010 12:00 AM GMT+0100, (By The Associated Press)
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says in her New Year message that Europe is dealing with a major test and must strengthen the euro, even as she celebrates Germany's emergence from the economic crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a weekly cabinet
meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday,
Nov. 3, 2010. (AP / Michael Sohn)
Merkel said in her televised message being broadcast Friday that "it was a good year for Germany." Powered by strong exports, Europe's biggest economy has bounced back strongly in 2010 — leading growth in the eurozone, while unemployment has sunk at home.
"Germany mastered the crisis like barely any other country," Merkel said. "We achieved what we resolved to do: we even emerged strengthened from the crisis."
Still, Merkel said that "we will have to prove our strengths in future too."
Europe is "in the middle of a major test," she said. "We must strengthen the euro. This is not just about our money — the euro is far more than a currency."
"The united Europe is the guarantor for our peace and freedom; the euro is the basis of our prosperity," Merkel added. "Germany needs Europe and our common currency."
Eurozone members Greece and Ireland required financial rescues in 2010 amid a persistent government debt crisis, and Europe remains under pressure to take more action to resolve its woes.
European Union leaders agreed earlier this month to change their main treaty to allow for a permanent rescue plan for countries overwhelmed by debt after 2013, when the existing bailout fund of euro750 billion (nearly $1 trillion) expires. They haven't agreed on details of the mechanism yet.
Financially solid Germany has come in for some criticism over recent months for taking a hard line in the crisis, recently declining to increase the existing rescue fund and consider a proposal for pan-European bonds.
China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu speaks during a news conference in Beijing in this December 7, 2010 file photo. (Credit: Reuters/David Gray)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)