Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union, has urged struggling European nations to embrace structural reform in order to rescue their faltering economies. According to AFP, Merkel stated in a recent speech that she was against taking on more debt as a means to an end. She also touched on the Spanish bailout, which she said will come with “strings attached”.
“There will of course be conditionality for Spain, when the application comes, namely a restructuring of its own banking system to make it fit for the future,” Merkel explained.
Although French President Francois Hollande has called for a regional growth strategy to keep the European economy from collapsing entirely, Merkel feels that governments shouldn’t come to rely on bailouts and financial spending to pull themselves out of the hole. She insisted that in order to properly move ahead, “we must learn from the mistakes of the past”.
In regards to the Spanish bailout, Merkel explained that she supported the idea, stating that the country was taking the necessary steps to correct the issues its currently facing. “I think it is right that Spain is now applying to recapitalize its banks, because the banking problems have not been caused by the state of the economic reforms but by a property bubble over the past decade.”
Merkel also insisted that reforms, the sort employed by Germany to help turn around their economy, aren’t going to happen overnight. In fact, it may take time for countries to see results of their endeavors.
“This encourages us to say in Europe that structural reforms can produce extremely good result,” she said, adding that the country had paid the price for its current success.