Merkel says Europe should not ease off on reforms now

DAVOS, Switzerland Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:48pm EST

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses headphone during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses headphone during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

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DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Thursday against easing off on painful reforms in Europe, saying the bloc must ensure it took full advantage of its debt crisis to modernize and boost its competitiveness.

"The political experience is that often you need pressure for political structural reforms," Merkel said during a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"My conclusion is therefore that if Europe is in a difficult situation today, we must implement the structural reforms today so we can live better tomorrow."

(Reporting by Noah Barkin and Madeline Chambers, writing by Annika Breidthardt)

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