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Angela Merkel’s 2011: “Profound change, toughest currency test”

The German chancellor’s New Year’s televised address to her nation included a vow to save the euro.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recording her speech.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recording her speech.
Image: AP Photo/Odd Andersen, Pool/PA Images

GERMAN CHANCELLOR Angela Merkel has told the eurozone countries that they must rally around the single currency to ensure its survival.

In her televised New Year’s address, recorded last night, Merkel acknowledged that it had been a difficult year and brought the toughest currency test yet to the euro in its 10 years of existence. The Deutsche Welle said that Merkel advised that the EU nations must “work together more than we have until now” to ensure the survival of the euro.

That was the message to the wider EU community but most of Merkel’s speech was directed at her own nation. She promised to improve care for the elderly and disabled in Germany, and increase the level of sustainable energy resources in the country. She also noted the rise of a small band of right-wing extremists who have been responsible for the murders of 10 people in the last decade in Germany which Merkel said went against the principles of a modern German “free and open society”.

Most commentators on her speech chose to focus on her message about the euro with Bloomberg and BusinessWeek highlighting her promise that she would “do everything” to save the euro from collapse.

Merkel has been named by the Christian Science Monitor as one of their top seven women “who shaped the world in 2011″. The others to make the list were Burmese human rights leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, IMF director Christine Lagarde, the three female Nobel Peace Prize winners (CSM appears to have counted them as one entity), Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and US secretary of state Hilary Clinton.

In lieu of a subtitled version of Merkel’s speech (for now), we are currently being distracted by Chuck Norris being transformed into Merkel in this speedpainting video (the transformation begins from 3:03) …


(via mssfldt/Youtube.com)

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