German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday renewed her pledge to stabilize the eurozone, and her insistence that it will be a step-by-step process, as she honored one of the currency’s founders â€” long-serving predecessor Helmut Kohl.
Merkel’s comments, at an event marking the 30th anniversary of Kohl’s rise to power, came hours after Germany’s president ratified the eurozone’s permanent â‚¬500 billion ($645 billion) rescue fund. That clears the way for it to start work next month.
Kohl was a driving force behind the euro and remains an iconic figure in Merkel’s conservative party. Bailing out eurozone strugglers hasn’t been popular in Germany and has caused particular unease in parts of Merkel’s center-right governing coalition.
Kohl’s name is “inextricably linked” with Europe’s currency union, Merkel said, adding that he recognized that “a common currency would make European integration irreversible.”
Merkel added that “the euro is far more than a currency.” But she also pointed to promises made when the euro was introduced to justify her hard-nosed approach to the crisis â€” helping struggling countries while insisting on deficit-cutting and economic reform efforts in exchange.
“The promise of stability also was linked with the introduction of the euro â€” we feel committed to this promise in the German government,” Merkel said.
via Yahoo Finance