• 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
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
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

3,199
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd