Merkel promises action on unemployment in 2006

2nd January 2006, Comments 0 comments

2 January 2006, BERLIN - In a New Year message to Germans, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised Saturday renewed effort to negotiate a European Union constitution and said her government's main challenge would be to reduce high unemployment in Germany.

2 January 2006

BERLIN - In a New Year message to Germans, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised Saturday renewed effort to negotiate a European Union constitution and said her government's main challenge would be to reduce high unemployment in Germany.

In the message, the text of which was released in advance, she said her objective was an early and "tangible result" in the constitutional negotiations, now that budget planning had been "set to rights at the last E.U. summit".

Her dearest wish for 2006 was that Germany continued to live in friendship with its neighbours and partners in peace and liberty.

She praised Germans for their "unique willingness to donate" after the Indian Ocean tsunami a year ago and appealed for further generosity towards the victims of natural disasters, war and disease.

Merkel said a major opportunity awaited Germany in the form of the football World Cup championship the nation is to host in 2006.

A German victory in the championship would be a further boon, she said, adding: "Our national women's team are already the World Champions, and I don't see any reason why men can't do just as well as women do," she said.

The chancellor said her coalition of Christian Democratic parties and the Social Democrats would do even more in the New Year to solve Germany's "number one problem, the horrifyingly high level of unemployment".

It would also cut spending "in every area except research, development and education".

DPA

Subject: German news

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