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Monday, November 15, 2010

"Everything is at stake"

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been speaking at her party's congress and, given the events in Ireland, the euro was a key theme of her speech.

It's fairly stirring stuff:

"Everything is at stake -- if the euro fails, then Europe will fail. The idea of European values and unity will have failed, an idea that gave our continent strength and prosperity after the last century with its wars and destruction. It's up to us. It's our task to create a new anchor for a culture of stability in Europe."

She went on to criticise the decision to admit Greece into the euro:

"In 2000 Schroeder and Eichel couldn't let Greece join the euro fast enough and they ignored all the warnings. It was a political decision...political decisions are important but those which ignore the facts are irresponsible."

Merkel also made a point of defending Germany's export-led model, which many say has contributed to the euro's problems, adding:

"We will not allow ourselves to be punished for something that we do well. We'll not allow ourselves to be whipped because we export good products, made in Germany, all around the world."

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