December 2, 2011 / 9:21 AM / 6 years ago

HIGHLIGHTS-Merkel outlines euro crisis stance before summit

BERLIN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - 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 summit:

EU SUMMIT

”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.”

ECB ROLE

”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.”

EFSF

“I would not recommend that we talk down the EFSF. I believe we should with a realistic outlook do with the EFSF what is possible.”

FISCAL UNION

”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 the budget.

”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.”

TREATY CHANGE

“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 Europe.”

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