Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

  • Frantic search for South Korea ferry passengers continues

    Read more

  • Kiev powerless as pro-Russia activists seize armoured vehicles

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘this election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in eastern Congo

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

Europe

Merkel warns of "difficult" 2013 for Germany and eurozone

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-31

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that for Germany “the economic environment next year will not be easier, but more difficult" in her annual New Year address. Merkel also stated that the eurozone “crisis is a long way from being overcome”.

Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Germans that the economy, Europe's biggest, would experience a harder time next year than in 2012 and cautioned too that the eurozone debt crisis was far from over.

In her annual New Year address published Monday, Merkel said: "In fact, the economic environment next year will not be easier, but more difficult", adding: "The crisis is a long way from being beaten."

Although top exporter Germany has managed to hold up to the crisis fairly well, growth has slowed here as well since the beginning of the year.

After expanding by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by just 0.3 percent in the second quarter and a mere 0.2 percent in the third quarter.

And in October, the government slashed its forecast for economic output next year to 1.0 percent, compared to 1.6 percent previously anticipated.

The country's gloomy central bank has said Germany may even flirt briefly with recession early next year.

The Bundesbank also forecast that Germany would only grow by a meagre 0.4 percent next year.

Nevertheless, "it has been possible this year to have the lowest unemployment and the highest level of employment since the reunification" in 1990, Merkel recalled.

And a slowdown next year "should not leave us discouraged but should spur us on", said the chancellor, according to the text of her speech released in advance by her office.

Turning to the eurozone's efforts to tackle its three-year debt crisis, she judged that "the reforms that we have decided are beginning to work".

"However, we still need more patience. The crisis is a long way from being overcome."

She appeared more pessimistic than other eurozone leaders such as France's President Francois Hollande or even her own finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, both of whom have declared the worst of the crisis over.

In an interview with mass circulation Bild last week, Schaeuble said: "I think the worst is behind us", citing positive developments in Greece and France.

Hollande has repeatedly said the eurozone crisis, which has at times threatened the very existence of the 17-country currency union, was past.

Merkel also called for better supervision of the financial markets, stressing: "The world has still not sufficiently learnt the lessons of the devastating financial crisis of 2008".

"Never again should such a lack of responsibility assert itself as before. In the social market economy, the state is the guardian of order and people have to be able to have confidence in that," added the chancellor.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-12-31

  • EUROZONE

    EU strikes deal on single banking supervisor

    Read more

  • EUROZONE

    EU leaders agree to greater banking oversight

    Read more

  • EUROZONE

    France, Germany clash threatens EU summit

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)