Merkel says strong euro hurts fruits of reforms
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that a strong euro would make it more difficult for eurozone countries to enjoy the benefits of the structural reforms they have pushed through.
In the global economy, "a very strong" euro would make it difficult for countries such as Spain and Portugal, which adopted significant reforms during the economic crisis, to "harvest the fruits of those reforms, in exports, for example," Merkel told a congress for family-run businesses in Berlin.
Germany, one of the world's top exporters, has benefitted from a weakening of the euro in recent months, as it makes its exports cheaper.
Turning to Greece, Merkel said she hoped a solution could still be found between Athens and its creditors.
"Where there is a will, there is a way," the chancellor said.
"But there must be a will on all sides. That's why I think it is right that we continue to talk to one another again and again."
Greece said it needed to clinch a deal with its EU-IMF creditors by June 18 to avert a default on its debt, as pressure mounts on Athens to give in to tough reform demands.
One of Greece's key creditors, the International Monetary Fund, pulled its team out of negotiations on Thursday because of major differences, dampening earlier optimism from the Europeans that an agreement could be close.
Merkel said it was "not the first time that a country has had to push through structural reforms. That's why we say individual effort and solidarity go hand in hand in Europe. That applies to everyone."
© 2015 AFP