Merkel stresses "historic duty" to defend euro

Merkel stresses "historic duty" to defend euro
# 22 July 2011 21:49 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday expressed confidence in Greece’s getting over the debt crisis, saying that her country and other eurozone members has "historic duty" to defend the euro, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
Speaking at a pre-holiday press conference, Merkel said she is confident that the debt-gripped Greece would finally walk out of the shadow of financial woes, and Europe would become stronger after the worst crisis in euro’s 12-year history.

Her comments come one day after an emergency summit held in Brussels, where eurozone leaders hammered out a new bailout package for Greece in late night, including 109 billion euros (157 billion U.S. dollars) of new loans, increased flexibility of the EFSF (the European Financial Stability Facility) fund and private sectors’ involvement.

Merkel hailed Thursday’ rescue deal as "a significant outcome" of the summit, stressing that "it is our historical duty to support the euro."

"We know that the problem of one is also the problem of all of us," she said. "The euro is part of Germany’s economic success. A Europe without the euro is unimaginable, and it is worth every effort."

"Standing, together, we will make it," the chancellor added. "Every eurozone state knows their responsibility."

Besides the helping hand from outside, Merkel said Greece also has a strong responsibility of implementing structural reforms and tough austerity measures.

"It is a very, very important thing that Greece should carry out its program," she said. "You have to solve the problem from the root, which is about the debt and (the country’s) competitiveness."

Fighting back criticism that she looked impassionate and hesitant when handling the eurozone debt troubles, Merkel said "if I had as much passion for everything as I have for Europe, I could fill my day with 48 hours."

She said she has a passion of her own kind and it is always "intense".

Those who hoped for a once-for-all solution to the complicated problem are negligent and losing patience, she added.

The chancellor acknowledged there was no concrete amount of Germany’s contribution in the second rescue package for Greece, but her government will do everything to "keep the cost as low as possible."

Although polls showed using taxpayers’ money to bail out Greece is quite unpopular in Germany, Merkel said she is optimistic about winning lawmakers’ support for the new rescue plan, and the legislation could be approved due to the majority of her centre-right coalition in the parliament.

The German parliament now is on a summer break. It is reported that the new Greek deal is to be voted in early September.