Merkel says 'now or never' to resolve euro's weaknesses

26th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said the euro's weaknesses must be resolved "now or... never", ahead of a crunch EU summit on the eurozone debt crisis.

"The fundamental weaknesses and holes in the construction of the economic and monetary union must either be addressed now or, I say, never," she told German MPs.

"And if we address them now, then we will have seized the opportunity this crisis presents us. Otherwise we will have failed," she said.

Merkel told the Bundestag, lower house of the German parliament, that resolving the weaknesses of the common currency could only be done via changes to European treaties.

"Where does it state that treaty changes must take a decade?" she said, adding that treaty changes always carry risks because they must approved by all 27 members of the European Union.

Changes must ensure the "anchoring of a culture of stability in Europe" by giving European institutions, including the European Court of Justice, the possibility to intervene in countries who "infringe the rules in a permanent way".

Later Wednesday, lawmakers were set to vote on plans to boost the 440-billion-euro ($612-billion) EU war chest to fight the crisis, amid fears that it would be insufficient to prevent disaster if Italy were dragged into the mire.

© 2011 AFP

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