Merkel backs euro during televised new year speech

11:11, January 01, 2011      

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Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the importance of the euro to Germany during her new year speech on Friday.

"In recent months Europe is facing a big test. We must strengthen the euro. It is much more than our common currency. It is the foundation of our prosperity," Merkel said in the televised address.

Merkel defended the euro amidst rising anger against the currency because Germany has carried the heaviest burden in the European rescue package for the debt crisis in Greece.

A recent survey conducted by the daily Bild showed that 49 percent of those polled wanted the deutschmark back due to the crisis in Greece and Ireland.

Merkel praised German workers' efforts to pull the economy out of the recession.

"Germany survived from the crisis like almost no other country," Merkel said. "Never have more people had work in reunified Germany than today. The number of unemployed is the lowest in almost 20 years."

Merkel also paid homage to the soldiers who died this year in Afghanistan, saying "they will never be forgotten."

Source: Xinhua
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