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Merkel: Leaders must dare for 'more Europe'

Thursday 26 January 2012 - by Andrew Hickley

Angela Merkel - photo by European Commission
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that European leaders must "dare to have more Europe" as part of fiscal integration measures needed to shrug off the sovereign debt crisis.

Countries across the EU must unite in the areas of budgetary discipline, competitiveness and solidarity, Merkel said during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Among the necessary changes Merkel said the European Commission must become "more and more like a government" due to the competences it will be given.

"The main message of the fiscal compact that we are working on - the fact that every country introduces a debt ceiling in its constitution and that the European Commission and the European Court of Justice can control this - the main message is that we are ready for more commitment," she said told delegates on Wednesday.

"The question is: Do we dare to have more 'Europe'? In the year 2012, yes, we do dare."

Merkel's speech also called for structural reforms allowing greater labour mobility across the eurozone.

Additionally, she urged G20 countries to continue work on implementing financial market regulation and securing free trade agreements against increasing signs of protectionism.

But while the Chancellor acknowledged Europe is currently the world's "big economic headache", Merkel hit out at suggestions the eurozone is the only problem increasing pressure on worldwide activity.

"I think if we are honest we are not the only headache that we have, there are a number of countries where other work is to be done," she said.

Merkel added that she wants work on worldwide growth to be at the forefront of a G20 meeting in Mexico later this year.

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