Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Merkel hails Italy's efforts to fight crisis

BERLIN, -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid tribute to Italy's efforts on fighting the debt crisis as she met Italy's new Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Tuesday.

Merkel said said at a joint news conference with Letta that Italy had already taken "considerable" steps on fighting the country's economic problems, adding that Europe has to emerge from the crisis stronger.

"We want to ensure Europe emerges from this crisis stronger than it went into it," Merkel said. "Italy has taken considerable steps in this regard."

Merkel reiterated her belief that fiscal consolidation and growth are both essential to improve the competitiveness and the creation of employment, adding that budget balancing and economic growth are "complementary" in the fight against the crisis

The Chancellor said the German government will cooperate closely with the Italian government, adding that the fact that Letta made his first visit after taking office to Berlin is a sign of the importance of relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Letta said Italy will do everything necessary to keep its public finances in order. But he also called for more measures for growth, as he has pledged to adopt urgent policies in favor of economic growth and investment to make up for more than one year of austerity drive.

Merkel was criticized during Italy's election campaign for her insistence on adopting budget-balancing policies and structural reforms in fighting eurozone crisis.

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