German Chancellor Angela Merkel flatly rejected any quick-fix ideas to try to resolve the European financial crisis, telling legislators on Friday that treaty changes and stricter controls were the only path forward and that the process could take years.
Ms. Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are pushing for a reorganisation of the existing European Union regulations, which they say is needed to prevent the eurozone from breaking apart.
In laying out to the lower house of Parliament plans she will take to a December 9 European Union summit in Brussels, Ms. Merkel insisted the 17 nations who use the euro need to take measures to restore market confidence. She added that eurozone financial regulations had been violated too frequently.
“The German government has made it clear that the European crisis will not be solved in one fell swoop...” she said. “It’s a process, and this process will take years.”
She reiterated her objection to so-called eurobonds, telling Parliament that jointly backed government debt across the eurozone is no solution.
The discussion about eurobonds “does not contribute to the resolution of the crisis,” she said. Instead, she said, the eurozone needs a new “stability union” with stronger fiscal controls and debt regulations.
The German leader said her goal, together with Mr. Sarkozy’s, is to change European treaties “to avoid a splitting of the eurozone and non-eurozone members,” through a strengthening of EU institutions.
Mr. Sarkozy called on Thursday for “refounding and rethinking the organisation of Europe.”