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Merkel: 'Greek austerity will bear fruit and EU will survive'

By Stav Dimitropoulos     Mar 31, 2012 in World
" I do not want to make anything look prettier than it is: Greece still has a tough path ahead, but it has gone a long way," said Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to the Chech daily newspaper Lidove Noviny at the beginning of this week.
Merkel continued ‘praising’ the efforts of the Greek authorities by telling that: “The Greek parliament has approved harsh measures, such as slashing the minimum wage, so that it could compete with neighbouring countries for instance in tourism. These are extremely tough political decisions which I appreciate a lot. They will bear fruit with time."
According to the German chancellor, the harsh austerity measures imposed to Greece are necessary. "I do not see a reasonable alternative to this path of solid budget, administrative reforms, reforms of the labor market, liberalization of closed professions and above all, more efficient tax collection" are the words she employs to justify the measures.
As for the internal euro zone conflicts and the fact that budget rules were signed by 25 of 27 EU countries earlier in March, Merkel claims: "Netherlands is still working on its budget. Spain is promising that in 2013 it will strive to meet the 3 percent limit, but it is pointing out higher deficit that it inherited from the previous government. It has pledged now how to get close to the 3 percent. I am optimistic that everybody will meet their commitments."
For Merkel, Europe should have focused not only on become an economic union but also a political one when it adopted euro.
Finally, the German chancellor stressed the need to combat unemployment and focus on research and development while she ‘vaguely’ referred to the obligations of member states by telling that : " Every member state will put together its own budget, but it has to stick to certain boundaries and set certain priorities."
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