"Europe is our destiny and our future"
Chancellor Merkel delivered a passionate policy statement in the Bundestag yesterday, ahead of the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. She reiterated Germany´s commitment to Europe, but pointed out at the same time that "not even Germany’s forces are unlimited."
Enlarge image Chancellor Merkel delivers her policy statement (© picture-alliance/ dpa) The European sovereign debt crisis will be a central topic at the G20 summit on 18-19 June, Merkel said. "Germany is strong. Germany is an economic powerhouse, it is an anchor of stability in Europe. I want to say that Germany is indeed utilising this strength and power for the benefit of people, not only in Germany but also in the service of European integration and in the service of the global economy."
Germany´s forces not unlimited
Chancellor Merkel made it clear that even Germany´s forces are not unlimited. The country´s special responsibility lies in the ability to assess its power credibly in order to utilise it efficiently for Germany and Europe. This is the only way to a political union in Europe.
The way out of the eurozone crisis could only be successful, if the member states "are all willing and able to accept the facts, realistically judge their own strength and truly use them for the benefit of everyone".
She emphasised that strengthening growth and budget consolidation should go hand in hand, as the two pillars are indispensable. The way out of the crisis would be long, laborious and painful, but unavoidable.
"Why are we doing this? We’re doing it because we’re convinced that Europe is our destiny and our future. And we’re also doing it because we’re convinced that if the euro fails, Europe fails. But we’re also aware that Germany’s strength isn’t infinite. Not even Germany’s forces are unlimited. Therefore, our special responsibility as Europe’s largest economy is to assess our strength realistically so that it can be used effectively for Germany and Europe. That will only succeed if we don’t overestimate our strength but, rather, if we gradually head towards political union in a manner which is credible."
Enlarge image (© picture-alliance/ dpa) Merkel made it clear that it wasn´t just the eurozone countries alone that could create the conditions for global growth. The G20 partners should also resist the temptation of creating growth by accumulating more debt. The action plan in Los Cabos should reflect that.
Budget consolidation was an indispensable element, and all states should strive to overcome their weak points, she said.
"That is why I will continue to urge that we should not lose sight of the agenda of regulating the financial markets. We still have significant tasks ahead of us, in supervision and regulation of shadow banking, for example. We need to ensure that hedge funds are supervised everywhere too. They now are in Europe, but not all around the world. It is also essential that we consistently implement the tangible consequences of what we have decided in the G20 to regulate systemically relevant financial institutions.
It is good and indeed vital for us in the G20 to talk about all the issues with affect our world. We have decided in that forum to accept responsibilities jointly. Only by taking such a collaborative approach can we succeed in our search for solutions to the challenges of our times, from boosts to competitiveness and debt reduction, to strategies for protecting the environment and the climate and combating hunger and poverty. We are one world, and Los Cabos will be proving that once again in the coming days. I’ll qualify that: Los Cabos will have to prove it if we intend to act in the service of the people on this planet. Germany accepts its part of that joint responsibility."