Merkel says Europe needs more than 'declarations of intent'

9th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that Europe needed more than "declarations of intent" to resolve the eurozone crisis, in a swipe at the broken promises of debt-mired member states.

Merkel told a science conference that the debt emergency provided an opportunity for countries such as Greece and Italy to implement urgently needed political and economic reforms but that they must now follow through.

"This is the time for a breakthrough to a new Europe. This is a time for a change toward more sustainability," she said.

"That is the problem we have to contend with in Europe. And that means it is about more than declarations of intent but rather implementing structural changes."

Merkel's comments came after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would resign this month and not run for office again -- a move that nevertheless failed to calm the ongoing turmoil on world markets.

Critics say Berlusconi has repeatedly failed to follow through on pledges to repair Italy's public finances, just as political chaos in Greece has hobbled it as it struggles with its own debt drama.

Merkel said the European Union was "not viable" without treaty changes that would place stricter controls on public finances to head off future crises, allowing the bloc to become a "stability union".

"Europe is in crisis," Merkel said. "The world will not wait for Europe."

© 2011 AFP

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