News / Europe

Germany's Merkel Calls for United Europe

German Chancellor and leader of Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel delivers a speech at a party meeting in Leipzig, November 14, 2011.
German Chancellor and leader of Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel delivers a speech at a party meeting in Leipzig, November 14, 2011.
Sabina Castelfranco

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for a stronger political union in Europe to overcome the bloc’s debt crisis. She called the crisis the continent’s “toughest hour since World War II.” And, in Italy, Prime Minister-designate Mario Monti was hard at work choosing members of his Cabinet.  

Addressing thousands of delegates of her conservative party, Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that Germany will have to make more sacrifices to deal with financial events in Europe.

Today, she said, Europe is in one of its toughest hours, maybe the toughest hour since World War II. It must be clear to us that we must not be discouraged by that. In 2008, she said, we managed to overcome the financial crisis with the motto that Germany would come out stronger from this crisis than we entered it. Now we must succeed in getting Europe out of this crisis stronger than when it entered it.

Merkel added that the European Union’s structure must be developed further. That, she said, means creating a Europe that ensures that the euro has a future.

The German chancellor said the euro is far more than just a currency. It is the symbol of European unification and it has become the symbol for half a century of peace, freedom and prosperity.

The leader of Europe’s biggest economy stressed that if the euro fails, so will Europe.

In Italy, Prime Minister-designate Mario Monti began talks Monday to create a new government of non-political experts. The effort follows the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi and the approval by parliament of emergency austerity and reform measures.

But political analyst James Walston, at Rome’s American University, says the fact that Berlusconi has stepped down does not mean he has abandoned politics.

"Berlusconi made his position very clear when he left on Sunday. He sent a video message to Italy saying that he is not finished, that he was - first of all he said he was very upset in personal terms because he has been, because of the celebrations when he left - but then in terms of substance he said he would double his efforts to continue his idea of renewing Italy," said Walston. "So at the moment, he is certainly not retired, he is not the retiring type."

Monti, a 68-year-old economics professor, has pledged to act "with a sense of urgency" to identify ministers in the new government and has said he hopes to secure a strong team. He was meeting various political parties throughout the day.

After he draws up what is expected to be a small Cabinet of technocrats and lays out its priorities, he will need to ensure that he has enough support in parliament to govern. Monti’s new government will be tasked with implementing economic reforms aimed at reviving a stagnant economy and decreasing public debt.

German Chancellor Merkel has welcomed signs of an end to the weeks of uncertainty in Italy. Monti could visit either France or Germany to meet Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy within a week of a new government being in place.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid