31 Dec '11, 12am

Tough year ahead, says Merkel

Tough year ahead, says Merkel

BERLIN: Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of a difficult year ahead, particularly for the eurozone, but also said there were good reasons to be confident, in New Year greetings released Saturday. "Germany is doing well, even if next year will no doubt be more difficult than 2011," Merkel said in a speech to be broadcast Saturday evening, the text of which AFP received in advance. Merkel said 2011 had been marked by major upheavals such as the Arab Spring and Japan's nuclear disaster at Fukushima which eventually prompted Germany to phase out nuclear power by 2022. But Europe had also suffered upheaval, she added. "Here, the debt crisis is still keeping us in suspense," she said. Merkel also mounted a defence of the European project. Detailing what it had offered the continent over the past 50 years, she listed: "Peace, freedom, justice, human rights and democracy." E...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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