Addressing parliament in Berlin, re-elected German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pointed to the progress made in overcoming the eurozone debt crisis. But she warned allies budgetary constraint was required to advance.
Speaking before the national parliament a day after being sworn in for her third term, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday she saw first signs of success in dealing with the eurozone crisis, but warned it was not over yet.
The head of government specifically mentioned Ireland which had been able to consolidate its finances, putting the nation in a position to exit an international bailout program. Merkel also cited the big strides Spain had made in rectifying its ailing bank sector and getting a large-scale recapitalization scheme under way successfully.
"Clearly, the eurozone debt crisis is not yet overcome, but we're convinced it can be overcome permanently," Merkel said in her address to the Bundestag, adding, though, that necessary structural reforms in Europe might not be possible without a lengthy process of changing the EU treaty.
Warning to Brussels
Merkel also emphasized the importance of current negotiations to complete a deal on a euro area banking union. "For the acceptance of the euro on financial markets, the banking union is crucial," she told lawmakers in Berlin.
The Chancellor attacked an EU executive intiative to investigate into Germany's system of subsidized electricity for big industry, saying there could be no talk of any unfair competition as long as there were European nations where electricity for industry was much cheaper than in Germany.
The inquiry by the European Commission focuses on a German exemption for energy-intensive industries from a government-imposed levy to fund investment in renewables.
hg/kms (dpa, Reuters)