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Merkel: EU-US rift on crisis ‘dangerous’

Published on 20/03/2009

Berlin — Differing approaches by the European Union and the United States to solving the global economic crisis would be "extremely dangerous," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.

Hitting back at US calls for Europe to introduce heftier measures to fight the recession, Merkel said: "I would find it extremely dangerous if countries on different sides of the Atlantic were to take different directions."

Speaking in the German parliament, Merkel added: "We need psychologically good signals from London" where a crunch meeting of the Group of 20 developed and developing economies will take place on April 2.

Merkel rejected criticism that the 81 billion euros (109 billion dollars) already pumped into Europe’s largest economy was insufficient.

"We are in the vanguard — we are contributing an above-average amount," she said.

"This is right because we as an exporting nation have a particular interest in getting the world economy back on its feet," she added. "The current measures must work. We must allow their impact to develop."

On a Europe-wide level, Merkel insisted that measures must be introduced that have an impact in 2009, "not in 2013 or 2014 when the crisis will be long finished."