• 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
Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture
A fissure on the Autobahn near Heidelberg. Photo: DPA

Extreme heat causes Autobahn to rupture

The heatwave sweeping across the country may have Germans flocking to the sea this weekend, but the extreme temperatures are also causing Autobahns to break apart. READ  

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Nazi island resort to be turned into luxury flats

A vast Nazi mega-complex meant as holiday homes for German workers and later used by the Soviets as a Cold War barracks is about to be turned into luxury flats. READ  

Greece crisis
'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble
A poster of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in Athens reads "For five years he has sucked your blood. Now tell him NO." Photo: DPA

'Bundestag must vote on new bailout': Schäuble

UPDATE: Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Friday that there would be no quick release of bailout funds to Greece after the country's referendum on whether to accept its creditors' terms on Sunday. READ  

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp
The new Deutsche Post stamp showing the Dalai Lama. Photo: DPA

Activists give Dalai Lama 80th birthday stamp

Pro-Tibet activists have created a new limited-edition stamp featuring the Dalai Lama to mark the Tibetan spiritual leader's 80th birthday. READ  

Women's World Cup
'Germany will crack England': top coach
Star striker Celia Sasic. Photo: DPA

'Germany will crack England': top coach

The manager of European champions FFC Frankfurt told The Local he expects Germany to beat England in the third place play-off in the Women's World Cup, and predicted his protege Celia Sasic will grab a goal or two. READ  

NSA surveillance scandal
Calls grow for govt to act on NSA spying
Chancellor Angela Merkel, the highest-profile German victim of NSA spying, speaking on the phone. Photo: DPA

Calls grow for govt to act on NSA spying

Green Party security expert Konstantin von Notz told The Local on Friday that Chancellor Angela Merkel is failing to restore faith in the German-US partnership following fresh spying revelations. READ  

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds
Ilka Semmler and Katrin Holtwick. Photo: DPA file

Germany reach semis of beach volleyball worlds

Germany's top beach volleyball pair are storming the world championships in Holland and prepare to face Brazil in the semis on Friday. READ  

Environment minister blasts Merkel, colleagues
Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks. Photo: DPA

Environment minister blasts Merkel, colleagues

Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks loosed a broadside against her cabinet colleagues on Friday in a guest article for Die Welt, saying that they had decided to do too little to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a way that would cost too much. READ  

Greece crisis
BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'
Image: BILD/screenshot

BILD polls readers in own 'Greece referendum'

Tabloid Bild continued its campaign against bailouts for Greece on Friday by calling its own "referendum", asking readers to fill out a poll on whether Germany should keep stumping up. German politicians were divided on how the Greek vote would affect Europe. READ  

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar
The Panther tank removed from a cellar in Kiel, with a prosecutors' evidence label attached to its barrel. Photo: DPA

Police confiscate WW2 tank hidden in cellar

Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday and found a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
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

6,940
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd