Europe moving to fiscal union, says Merkel

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said Europe is already moving towards “fiscal union” as it embarks on a “marathon” effort to solve the debt crisis.

Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel

Speaking to the German parliament this morning, the chancellor warned the eurozone debt crisis will “not be solved in one fell swoop” and said the process will take “years” to complete.

“We have started a new phase in European integration,” she said.

“We’re not just talking about a fiscal union but starting to create one. I believe you can’t overestimate the importance of this step.”

Merkel also reiterated her opposition to the European Central Bank issuing so-called eurobonds, claiming that taking joint liability for others countries’ debts is “not acceptable” to Germany.

In addition she denied that Germany is seeking to dominate the European agenda, saying such suggestions are “absurd” and claiming the country is only pushing for greater stability.

Merkel will meet with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday. The two leaders will draft a package of proposals to take to the European Union’s meeting on December 9.

Yesterday, Sarkozy called on eurozone members to pull together to prevent the break-up of the bloc and said the efforts of Germany and France will be essential in creating a “zone of stability”.

However, he denied that France is willing to hand over all of its sovereignty and said Brussels should not be allowed to approval national budgets.

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