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Merkel defends handling of eurozone crisis

The Local · 18 Jul 2011, 13:35

Published: 18 Jul 2011 13:35 GMT+02:00

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In an interview with public broadcaster ARD on Sunday evening, Merkel repeatedly said that the euro had to be defended at all costs, but rejected criticism that her approach to the crisis had been haphazard and rudderless.

“I think I’m doing what’s necessary,” Merkel responded testily.

“The euro is not in crisis,” she said, while adding that the currency was “especially” important for an exporting nation like Germany. “We are working to make the euro a stable currency.”

But she acknowledged Greece faced serious problems and reiterated the necessity of an initial bailout of the heavily indebted country. Merkel also stressed the importance of having the private sector help shore up Greece.

“The more we get private investors voluntarily involved now, the less likely we will have to take further steps," she said.

While calling the situation “very, very difficult,” Merkel said she and other European leaders “are trying everything we can to avoid something even tougher.”

She added that she would attend a summit of eurozone leaders in Brussels on Thursday – to agree to a new Greek rescue package only if there were a prospect of a concrete deal.

Merkel has faced sustained criticism of her handling of the eurozone crisis in recent months, but she garnered support from the head of the European Central Bank on Monday.

Story continues below…

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet told the Financial Times Deutschland that it was unfair to slam Merkel for dithering throughout the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis.

"I would see a discussion of this kind as being completely misplaced in the current situation," he said. “There is an absolute need to improve ‘verbal discipline’,” he added, indirectly criticizing European leaders for their attacks on Merkel.

The Local/AFP/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:29 July 18, 2011 by slawek
What happened to Greece is that the EUR killed their economy just like the Deutschmark killed the economy in east Germany. It took the east 20 years now to recover from the mistake of Kohl's currency union and the region is still suffering from a damaging exodus. Why do politicians have such a short term memory? Merkel was there. Unless she wants to kill Greece twice, Europe has to remove them from the EUR-zone.
16:13 July 18, 2011 by Bushdiver
This is a leader? She's totally clueless. Incidently the east still has not recovered and the west is still pumping money into the east. She will continue to believe that the Euro will survive and that Greece will prosper even if it takes the final Euro Germany has in it's reserve. Here in Europe you have poor economies trying to keep pace with the more wealthier economies which most people are now seeing is that it is not working. The wealthier countries can not bank roll the poorer countries forever. Sooner of later the richer countries will impload.
17:24 July 18, 2011 by r2d2c3po
If the gutless EU had followed it's no bailout clause and kicked Greece out where would we be now? The stupidity of the 1st bailout is going to be compounded by another one. What is it about power that rots politician's brains?
17:40 July 18, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
It's arrogance that makes people in power lose their memories and repeat mistakes of the past. Also, there was a very good reason why there's a no bailout clause in EU participation. Germany is breaking its own rules, and will unfortunately suffer because of it. I wish they'd get a clue.
18:22 July 18, 2011 by michael4096
It looks increasingly like Greece will have to leave the Euro and return later with a lower exchange rate.

I'm not convinced that it was so analogous to the east Germany situation; there the original exchange rate was set far too low, but Greece's problems seem to stem from an inability to control themselves when so much cheap money was available.

Although frau M.'s pandering to popular demand is frustrating on more issues than this, I think that "clueless" and other adjectives are not really deserved. She is still holding out for the banks to take some of the hit - with the 'simple' options, the taxpayer will pay all costs while the banks not only consolidate the profits they got from making this mess but are lining up for the future profits during the turmoil of restructuring.
01:00 July 19, 2011 by Bishopbayern
what a load of rubbish talked about angela merkel, she is solid as a rock, she has germany booming again and is trying to stabilise the euro. And as for the east.....its not angelas fault that the DDR had communism for decades and now wants western standards of living over night. No one can fix the mess they left behind but she is a great chancellor and makes germany strong
18:32 July 20, 2011 by slawek
@Bishopbayern "...as for the east... No one can fix the mess they left behind"

But making their economy in-competitive over night thanks to the introduction of the western Deutschmark was OK?
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