Europe in 'darkest hour' since WWII: Merkel

Updated: 2011-11-15 05:03


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BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called the ongoing debt crisis Europe's "darkest hour" since the World War II, but expressed confidence that Germany would emerge stronger.

"Europe is in one of its darkest, perhaps the darkest hour since the Second World War," Merkel highlighted the seriousness of the crisis when addressing thousands of delegates at the party congress of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the eastern German city of Leipzig.

"The euro is far more than one currency. If the euro fails, then Europe fails," she said, stressing the euro was a symbol of European unity, peace, freedom and prosperity.

"We want to prevent and we will prevent this, this is what we are working for, because it is such a huge historical project," she said.

Merkel called for responsible actions of the global financial industry.

"The economy and the financial economy must serve people and not vice versa," she said, adding that the crisis shows that people should not live permanently at the expense of the future.

But the chancellor expressed her confidence that Germany will emerge even stronger from the current crisis, as it must manage to create the condition so that Europe can get rid of the crisis as quickly as possible too.

"It's time for a breakthrough to a new Europe," she said.