German Chancellor Angela Merkel told parliament last week that European countries must keep on reforming and focus on cutting public deficits, which will, in her opinion, boost competitiveness of the continent. Merkel also warned that the eurozone debt crisis is not yet over and its causes have not been cleared away. She also stressed that difficult fiscal reforms have begun to pay off, which is something European leaders must bear in mind when discussing economic growth. “Early successes prove that we chose the right path from the start,” she added. The word “successful” referred to the exit of Spain, Portugal, and Ireland from the bailout programs.
Chancellor furthermore said that the crisis had not yet been permanently and sustainably overcome because the underlying causes regarding the set-up of the European economic and currency union and the situation of individual member states, had not been eliminated. “We have to press ahead determinedly with our efforts for sustainable growth and solid public finances and the creation of jobs,” said Mrs Merkel, who is urged to allow member states such as France and Italy more flexibility under EU deficit rules so that EU countries can fully concentrate on boosting employment.
However, she did not show any signs of mercy when speaking to German Parliament on Thursday (October 16). “All – and I stress here once again – all member states must fully respect the reinforced rules of the stability and growth pact,” she insisted. Chancellor further emphasized that the incoming European Commission must do its best to uphold these rules in order to protect the credibility of the block.