Chancellor Angela Merkel has said it will take five years, or even longer, to overcome the eurozone debt crisis. She restated the need for greater fiscal discipline at a regional meeting of her Christian Democrat party.
The chancellor told members of her Christian Democrat (CDU) party in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania there were no rapid solutions to the eurozone crisis.
"We have to hold our breath for five years or more," Merkel warned delegates in the city of Sternberg. "Whoever thinks this can be fixed in one or two years is wrong."
"A lot of investors do not believe that we can keep our promises in Europe," said Merkel. "We need a bit of strictness to convince the world that it is profitable to invest in Europe."
The emphasis on economic rigor reinforces Merkel's insistence that austerity should remain the priority in dealing with the continent's financial woes. French President Francois Hollande has argued for the focus to instead be placed on growth.
On Wednesday, the chancellor is scheduled to address the European Parliament about her vision for the economic future of the EU.
Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert on Friday said that the chancellor was travelling to Brussels to address delegates on "her thoughts on the further development of the Economic and Monetary Union.”
The address comes ahead of a two-day EU summit, beginning on November 24, at which negotiations over the EU's 2014 to 2020 budget are likely to dominate proceedings. London is pushing for a more austere budget, a position opposed by France.
rc/hc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
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