Chancellor Merkel Says Germany Will Lead Crisis Fight

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the Bundestag in Berlin, on June 14, 2012.

Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected quick solutions proposed to fix Europe’s financial crisis such as joint debt sharing, saying Germany can’t save the world economy alone and fellow Group of 20 countries must help.

Merkel, in a speech to parliament in Berlin today, said the debt crisis and Germany’s role in stemming it will be the “central topic” at next week’s G-20 summit in Mexico. While Germany will use its strength “in the service of European unity,” the euro and the global economy, Merkel said she opposes “seemingly easy” solutions that risk backfiring.

“All eyes are on Germany,” she said. “But we also know that Germany’s power is not infinite. So our responsibility as Europe’s largest economy is to deploy our strength credibly, so that we can be of full use to Europe.”

Merkel signaled a showdown with global peers at the June 18-19 meetings over ending the crisis that has made Spain the fourth euro-area country to need a bailout and driven up Italy’s borrowing costs. Finding a solution is a “Herculean task” that requires European nations to embrace “political union” step by step, giving up some national powers in the process, she said.

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