Merkel vows to continue reforms after ratings warning

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she would press on with "important" reforms for the eurozone, following a ratings agency downgrade threat for Germany and 14 other eurozone countries.

"On Thursday and Friday we will take the decisions which we consider important, indispensable, for the eurozone," she said in response to a question about the S&P credit warning, referring to an EU summit in Brussels.

This would contribute to stabilising the 17-member eurozone and provide confidence, Merkel said at joint press conference in Berlin with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"I have always said it's a long process which will still last a long time. But this path is now mapped out, also yesterday through the meeting with the French president, and we will continue on this path," she added.

The warning that Germany and France and 13 other members of the 17-nation eurozone are now on negative credit watch came from Standard & Poor's credit rating agency late Monday.

It followed a joint announcement by Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris that they wanted treaty changes to enforce budget discipline, in a bid to tackle the euro crisis.

© 2011 AFP

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