Angela Merkel gave her hour-long address to CDU delegates in front of a display reading: 'For Europe, for Germany'. Jens Meyer/AP
Debt Crisis

Debt crisis is Europe's worst moment since WW2 - Merkel

Angela Merkel tells delegates at her party’s conference that the European debt crisis is the greatest crisis for seven decades.

THE EUROPEAN DEBT crisis is forcing Europe to live through its “toughest hour since World War Two,” according to German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Speaking at her Christian Democratic Union’s annual party conference in Leipzig, Merkel said she believed that the entire European Union could dissolve if the single currency was to collapse.

Vowing to do whatever she could to ensure this did not happen, Reuters reported, Merkel did not offer any apparent new ideas on how to tackle the crisis.

“We will prevent this. This is what we are working for, because it is such a huge historical project,” the chancellor said.

Merkel added that Europe was “the basis of our wellbeing” and called for a “breakthrough to a new Europe.”

Outlining her stall quite clearly, Merkel called for greater fiscal unity between eurozone member states, arguing that the best tactic for putting an end to the crisis was “more Europe and not less Europe”.

AFP added that Merkel gave her address under a giant display reading ‘For Europe, for Germany’ – and that she had finished her speech with an affirmation that:

Irish concerns are Slovakian concerns. Greek concerns are Dutch concerns. Spanish concerns are German concerns.

Delegates stood and applauded Merkel for no shorter than six minutes after her hour-long address.

Merkel’s speech came on the same day that Lucas Papademos, Greece’s new prime minister, had addressed his country’s parliament for the first time since taking office.

The BBC described his speech as ‘defiant and ambitious’, while a former Greek finance minister told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the speech was to be welcomed because it contained “not one trace of populism”.

The new cabinet is supported by both the PASOK socialist party of former prime minister George Papandreou, and the opposition New Democracy. It will retain power until the spring.

Today the new Italian prime minister-designate Mario Monti hopes to conclude talks to finalise his own cabinet today; he is expected to appoint an administration of technocrats who will hope to push through austerity measures and save Italy from needing an EU-IMF bailout.

Greek PM: Remaining in euro “is only choice” >

Concern for France’s AAA rating as 10-year bond yields rise >

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