• Germany's news in English
 

Merkel tells Europe: work harder to stay rich

Published: 17 Dec 2012 16:09 GMT+01:00

"If Europe today accounts for just over seven percent of the world's population, produces around 25 percent of global GDP (gross domestic product) and has to finance 50 percent of global social spending, then it's obvious that it will have to work very hard to maintain its prosperity and way of life," Merkel told the British Financial Times in an interview.

Europe will have to spend more on research and education and overhaul its tax and labour markets to restore competitiveness, she said. "All of us have to stop spending more than we earn every year."

The chancellor was unrepentant about implementing the policy of austerity measures in response to the euro debt crisis, and reiterated her determination to make contracts with EU partner countries to implement more structural reform.

Merkel also used the interview to explain why policy building takes a little longer in Germany, and why she is often reluctant to commit to a course of action until a consensus has been formed.

"Social cohesion is very important to people in Germany," she told the paper. "Our federal system means that in Germany competences are distributed between the federal level and the Länder [the 16 federal states].

"Although that sometimes makes politics arduous, it’s also one of our country’s strengths, namely the ability to find good solutions to problems, and for Germany, across party lines."

The Local/AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:26 December 17, 2012 by lucksi
Or, in other words, those with jobs will have to work harder or have to pay more taxes to fund the social system.
16:41 December 17, 2012 by raandy
Thats a great pep talk, but being rich isn't important to everyone.I would rather have enough for all the basics ,and not be in debt than work all the time have all the candy.
17:12 December 17, 2012 by analyzer
Merkel: work harder becoz people need to buy our cars and beers
18:35 December 17, 2012 by sonriete
well, Mr Van Rompuy has made clear with his roadmap toward greater intergration that the EU will definately be transformed into a transfer union, with euro bonds and all the rest, so why would club med work harder?

If their incomes rise it could jepoardize their future cohesion funds, they will of course work less hard now, with this new blueprint being revealed.

And we all know there will be no more democratic referendums on these matters, especially in the north, not after the insolent French and Dutch electorates voted no on the constitution.
20:40 December 17, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ raandy

Your point of view is in line with Merkel's. "All of us have to stop spending more than we earn every year." It is basically what the Fiscal Pact and the austerity measures are about. The title twisted a little what was actually said.
21:05 December 17, 2012 by smart2012
Sonriete, this statement applies to all Europe... incl. Germany. How cannot u see that Verkel is keeping covering her a.. Last year she said Germany can stay alone. Now that Germany is struggling she says Germany needs euro, and all needs to work harder.. Why did not she say this 1 year ago, instead if fueling silly nationalism?
22:35 December 17, 2012 by sonriete
@smart2012;

I assume you're thinking of her statement and not mine, because you can bet there wil never be net transfers from other EU states to Germany as long as we are all alive. That is for sure.

When you consider that Germany remained a huge net contributer the whole while paying trillions of DM's and then euros for it's reunification, one cannot imagine any reason at all that we would ever have even a year or two as a net recipient.
23:43 December 17, 2012 by smart2012
Sonriete, u r not getting the point. Verkel says that tax payers will have to work harder, eg pension will move soon to 70 years old.

Btw, not going to reply to your BS on who pays more for Europe (France and Italy pay same as Germany), just to remind u that bankrupt nuerburing will be financed with eu money (so French and Italian will pay for it)..
00:22 December 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
@Sonriete

Are you really that dumb? ' you can bet there wil never be net transfers from other EU states to Germany'. Paying for the Euro by the rest of the Eurozone is more than any net transfer going to any other state.
00:35 December 18, 2012 by Leo Strauss
"Europe will have to work "very hard" to maintain its generous welfare system and remain competitive" XD That`s double plus good.

That`s right Outer Party Peeples. It`s not going to be easy with that Goldman-Sachs vampire squid sucking the lifeblood out of every single one of us in order to pay off that imaginary electronic black hole of debt, but if we want that extra ration of ersatz chocolate at the end of the month, then we`ll have to step it up!

Long Live Eurasia! Long Live the Party! Long Live the Banksters!
01:02 December 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Keep moving the goal posts Angie and keep us all chasing our way out of debt slavery. Your Banking buddies will surely smile favourable on you. You have half of Europe on its knees already. Remind me again why do we really need the Euro currency and why we should all thank you and your 'Deutschland über alles' banking buddies for imposing it on us?
08:04 December 18, 2012 by Gemhund
Great stuff! How about letting the shops be open on a Sunday, dunderhead.
08:29 December 18, 2012 by theibmsstate
Yes Europe rich countries should work hard because they have to pay for GREECE and other east Europe countries.
08:33 December 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
@theibmsstate

Muppet BILD reader. Please read my post at #9 and try thinking for yourself for a change.
10:48 December 18, 2012 by smart2012
berlin fur alles, when u come to munich give me a shout and lets meet up, i like your thinking :-)
13:10 December 19, 2012 by grinners
Conundrum

Working hard to stay rich.

Firstly, let's assume we're all rich (ok, ahhhhh. bugger it, let's go shopping) ok, so now we're there.

Secondly, that we need to work hard to stay there. (damn it, I can't go shopping, i have to do some more overtime, awwwww).
Today's headlines
Alps Plane Crash
Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day
Photo: DPA

Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day

State prosecutors in Düsseldorf said on Friday that Germanwings flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had a sick note from his doctor on the day of the crash. READ  

Varoufakis 'considering resignation': Bild
Yanis Varoufakis. Photo: DPA

Varoufakis 'considering resignation': Bild

German tabloid Bild reports that Germany's least-favourite Greek minister Yanis Varoufakis is considering resigning from his post just two months after taking it up. READ  

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study
Spanish immigrants in Germany. Photo: DPA

Germany urgently needs immigrants: study

A study by the Bertelsmann Institute found on Friday that Germany will need around half a million new immigrants every year until 2050 to maintain its work force. READ  

Bundesbank tough, public soft on Greece
Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank. Photo: DPA

Bundesbank tough, public soft on Greece

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on Friday that he is opposed to giving Greece further financial help because he believes the new government has frittered away too much trust, but a new poll showed that support for a "Grexit" had shrunk below 50 percent. READ  

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren
A black ribbon on a sign in Haltern, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Town flocks to mourn lost schoolchildren

President Joachim Gauck arrived in Haltern on Friday to join families and schoolchildren mourning the loss of their classmates and teachers in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule
Photo: DPA

Airlines agree two-person cockpit rule

The Federation of the German Air Travel Industry (BDL) decided on Thursday that from now on two people must be in the cockpit at all times, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the Germanwings disaster. READ  

Interior ministry bans Salafist group
Thomas de Maizière. Photo: DPA

Interior ministry bans Salafist group

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière ordered the dissolving of salafist organisation Tauhid Germany on Thursday, saying that the group radicalized youth and encouraged them to travel to Syria to fight for Isis. READ  

New minute of silence for Germanwings victims
MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) fall silent for a minute before beginning the day's work. Photo: DPA

New minute of silence for Germanwings victims

Germans again took a few moments on Thursday to remember those killed in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 plane crash on Tuesday. READ  

Ukraine refugees make tracks to Germany
Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland by plane. Photo: DPA

Ukraine refugees make tracks to Germany

Germany received one of the highest numbers of Ukrainian asylum seekers in Europe last year, according to data released last week by Eurostat and analyzed by The Local. READ  

Merkel must be firm with Modi: Amnesty
Narendra Modi. Photo: DPA

Merkel must be firm with Modi: Amnesty

Speaking to the The Local ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Germany next month, Amnesty International warned that his poor record on human rights must factor into the talks. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
National
Germanwings co-pilot was 'locked out of cockpit' before crash
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,137
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd