BERLIN Dec 2 Following are quotes from
Chancellor Angela Merkel's speech to the lower house of the
German parliament on Friday ahead of the Dec. 9 European Union
"There are no quick and easy solutions.
"Resolving the sovereign debt crisis is a process and this
process will take years.
"Marathon runners often say that the run becomes especially
difficult at the 35 kilometre mark, but they also say that
reaching the finish line is possible if you are conscious of the
full challenge from the very start and approach it accordingly.
"The one who starts fastest isn't necessarily the most
successful. It is the one who is aware of what is involved in
running the full distance."
PERIPHERAL AND NON-EURO STATES
"It is important to keep in mind the problems being faced by
people in Spain, Portugal and especially in Greece. We must also
realise what sacrifices people are making in countries not in
the euro zone, and who don't get so much attention, like the
Baltic states, Bulgaria and Romania."
"We often fail to realise the contribution that people in
the countries I have mentioned make towards the euro being a
solid, stable currency.
"Poland has always made it clear that even if it doesn't yet
have the euro, it is still ready to make a great commitment."
"It is essential for our democracy to defend and watch over
the credibility and reliability of these institutions: the
courts and the central banks.
"That is why in future I will not comment on what national
or European courts or what national central banks or the
European Central Bank do or don't do."
"The role of the European Central Bank is different from
that of the Fed in the United States of America and the Bank of
England, for example."
"I would not recommend that we talk down the EFSF. I believe
we should with a realistic outlook do with the EFSF what is
"European institutions, especially the European Commission
and the European Court of Justice must play an important role.
That is possible without the German Bundestag losing control of
"Credible power to implement is different from joint
European control of national receipts and spending. And as long
as that is the case, joint responsibility for the debt of others
is unthinkable. Therefore a discussion about euro bonds is
pointless. Whoever has still not understood that euro bonds
cannot be used as a remedy to the crisis now, has not understood
the nature of the crisis.
"We do not have the intention, we are far from, and it is
under our constitution not possible, to have our receipts and
spending controlled and directed by a European institution."
"There is no way around changing the European treaties, or
as a second-best option agreeing new treaties. We are going to
Brussels with the aim of pushing through treaty changes. That is
with the spirit of wanting to avoid a division of euro countries
and non-euro member states."
SERBIA AND KOSOVO
"The path of Serbia into the EU can only lead through the
normalisation of its relations with Kosovo.
"I regret that Serbia has so far not lived up to these
expectations sufficiently and therefore the conditions for being
awarded the status of a candidate are not yet in place. Serbia
is also accused of having contributed to an atmosphere in which
German KFOR soldiers were attacked with guns and injured in
northern Kosovo. I say that this is not acceptable."
GERMANY AND THE EURO
"The euro is much more than just a currency. With the
economic and monetary union we have reached a new level of
integration in Europe. The euro stands for the will of Europe to
strengthen its internal development and jointly meet the
challenges of today's global times. The future of the euro is
therefore inseparable from European unity.
"It is important to say that they (Germany's proposals for
the Dec. 9 summit) have nothing to do with some fears, concerns
or accusations that one can read and hear at the moment that
Germany wants to dominate Europe or something similar. That is
far-fetched. We are advocating a certain culture of stability
and growth. But we are doing this in the European spirit of
Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl. German and European unity are
two sides of the same coin, we will never forget that."
"The path ahead is still long and anything but easy. But I
am convinced that it is the right path. It is the right path for
us to reach our common goal, a strong Germany in a strong
European Union for the benefit of the people in Germany and