BERLIN Dec 30 Chancellor Angela Merkel will
tell Germans their fate is so closely entwined with the European
Union that it is imperative to come up with answers on how to
permanently resolve the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis.
In an advance text of the traditional New Year's Eve address
that she will deliver on Tuesday evening, Merkel said Germany
had a lot of work to do to maintain its own economic strength.
Merkel, who was recently re-elected to a third term, said
major goals were to keep working to improve Germany's budget
balance and to make a successful transition from reliance on
nuclear and fossil fuel energy to more renewable energy.
"We all know that the progress of our country is as
dependent as ever on making headway in Europe and on enduringly
overcoming the sovereign debt crisis in earnest," Merkel, 59,
said in the address, to be aired on public TV networks.
Germany, the EU's paymaster, has been at the heart of the
euro zone crisis. The EU's largest economy has enjoyed steady
growth and falling unemployment, in sharp contrast to some of
its euro zone partners.
But many Germans have been leery about providing financial
support to struggling euro zone countries. Merkel's government
was also initially reserved about assisting other countries,
which economists say exacerbated the crisis.
Merkel, who spent three months after winning reelection on
Sept. 22 on forming a new right-left 'grand coalition'
government that took power in December, did not offer details
about reform plans.
Her new coalition has set an ambitious target of more than
doubling Germany's share of renewable energy by 2025 to 40 to 45
percent from about 25 percent currently.
"There's a lot of work to do so that Germany will remain
strong in the future as well," Merkel said in the address.
"What's especially important for me is that we put our
finances in order for future generations and that we're
successful with the energy transformation," she said.
Germany has been working to reduce its budget deficits in
the last decade, aiming to achieve balanced budgets from 2013 to
2015 and a surplus of 0.5 percent of gross domestic product
(GDP) in 2016 and 2017.