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Merkel urges more Europe, stresses conditioned aid

(Xinhua)

08:10, July 16, 2012

BERLIN, July 15 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her support for a closer and more centralized European Union on Sunday, which should be the price for Berlin's continued aid for indebted neighbors.

"Without Europe, we cannot represent our values, our ideas and our ideals," Merkel said in an interview with German public television ZDF that was aired on Sunday evening.

In the long run, the EU should be a closer political union, which has more binding force over member states and could discipline those who breach the rules,she said.

Merkel said the future of Europe would be the dominant theme in Germany's federal election next year, when the chancellor is seeking the third term.

Voters have to answer these questions: "what is Europe and what ideas we have of Europe", she added.

Merkel stressed that Germany's rescue efforts in the eurozone debt crisis are not without conditions. Those heavily-indebted nations which received lifelines from outside should keep their fiscal targets and accept more supervision from Brussels.

Any attempts "saying 'let us show solidarity but meanwhile has no supervision and no conditions' will have no chance with me or with Germany," Merkel said.

For Thursday's voting in the Bundestag, or the lower house of parliament, on a 100-billion-euro rescue package for Spanish banks, Merkel said she is confident on securing absolute majority from lawmakers.

Merkel didn't make further statements on Greece in the interview, simply saying that Germany will wait for an assessment report from the troika, referring to officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, before taking new moves.

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