| BERLIN, April 22
BERLIN, April 22 German Chancellor Angela Merkel
said on Monday that euro zone members must be prepared to cede
control over certain policy domains to European institutions if
the bloc is truly to overcome its debt crisis and win back
Speaking at an event hosted by Deutsche Bank in Berlin
alongside Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Merkel also
defended her approach to the crisis against critics who argue
she has put too much emphasis on austerity, saying Europe must
find a way to deliver both growth and solid finances.
The comments came two months before European leaders are due
to gather in Brussels to discuss moving towards a so-called
Expectations are low, in part because an easing of the
crisis has reduced pressure on leaders to produce a big leap
forward in integration, but also due to differences between
Germany and its partners, notably France, over the next steps.
"We seem to find common solutions when we are staring over
the abyss," Merkel said. "But as soon as the pressure eases,
people say they want to go their own way.
"We need to be ready to accept that Europe has the last word
in certain areas. Otherwise we won't be able to continue to
build Europe," she added.
Tusk said it would be "dangerous" if other countries in
Europe felt Germany was imposing its own economic model across
the entire bloc.
But Merkel denied that, saying Europe was made up of
different cultures and economies with different strengths. The
key she said, was for Europe to orient itself towards best
That meant Germany accepting a single market for services, a
common labour market and more compatible social security
systems, so that Europeans could move from one state to the
other without worrying about their pensions.
"We don't always need to give up national practices but we
need to be compatible," Merkel said. "It is chaos right now."
"We need to be prepared to break with the past in order to
leap forward. I'm ready to do this," she said.
Introducing Merkel and Tusk, Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain
praised the German leader and the European Central Bank for
their efforts to calm the crisis.
"Now, as I travel through Europe and the U.S., even the most
sceptical investors recognise that the future of the euro zone
is no longer under serious threat. And that is a very good
thing," Jain said.
But Tusk acknowledged that the crisis had taken its toll on
public opinion in Poland, where he said a majority of the
population had doubts about adopting the euro.