Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

I don’t carry any early childhood trauma around with me, if that’s what you’re hinting at. The story of the bicycles – and there were three of them which were stolen from me – I’ve dealt with it well.

At this time – we’re in a dramatic crisis – euro bonds are precisely the wrong answer. They lead us into a debt union, not a stability union. Each country has to take its own steps to reduce its debt.

Herr Schroder has conducted two electoral campaigns, and he is doing it again now, by not telling people what is really necessary. He keeps avoiding the difficult and uncomfortable issues, those that imply changes and therefore provoke discussions.

I will not let anyone tell me we must spend more money. This crisis did not come about because we issued too little money but because we created economic growth with too much money and it was not sustainable growth.

In Europe it is particularly important that we build good relations to everyone who holds political responsibility because Europe can only be build together.

As politicians we have to react to the fact that many people do not feel that they can relate to the EU.

I said, yet again, for Germany, Europe is not only indispensable, it is part and parcel of our identity. We’ve always said German unity, European unity and integration, that’s two parts of one and the same coin. But we want, obviously, to boost our competitiveness.

From this experience we have learned that in a big party it is important to have the necessary and often controversial discussions on policy issues such as the health system while in opposition.

Above all it is important to point out that we can only maintain our prosperity in Europe if we belong to the most innovative regions in the world.

If we remind ourselves of the fact that every fifth American today rightly points and perhaps also with a certain degree of pride to his German ancestry or her German ancestry, we can safely say that we, indeed, share common roots.

I felt really sorry for Oliver Kahn. Up to that point he had made lots of saves for the German team. Of course he could have caught the ball but it just happened. It was bad luck. In that situation, you need to be very strong psychologically to carry on.

In the German football team players from different clubs need to get on with each other both on and off the pitch. In the grand coalition Christian Democrats and Social Democrats sit in the same boat and need to pull in the same direction.

I have just explained my idea of how a constructive period of reflection, one that would send a clear message to the citizens of Europe: You should now what our priorities are. For Germany this means: Unemployment is one of one of our biggest problems.

I feel sorry sometimes for these sportsmen and women who put in just as much effort as the footballers. For example, athletes train at least as hard as footballers but have to be happy if they can earn enough to finance a decent education.

I see nothing that points to a recession in Germany. But I see considerable long-term tasks ahead of us that have to do with markets regaining confidence in Europe and that have a lot to do with reducing debt.

At the beginning of the 60’s our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country. We kidded ourselves a while, we said: ‘They won’t stay, sometime they will be gone.’ But this isn’t reality.

Eurobonds are absolutely wrong. In order to bring about common interest rates, you need similar competitiveness levels, similar budget situations. You don’t get them by collectivizing debts.

I am not an expert in this field but I do try to keep up to date with the Bundesliga. And I do follow World Cups and European Championships more closely.

I think that the EU with the Lisbon agenda has put the right emphasis on growth and employment.

For a few years, more people have been leaving our country than entering it. Wherever it is possible, we must lower the entry hurdles for those who bring the country forward.