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German Chancellor Merkel Calls for Patience

Germany
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In a new year’s message, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the country that its economic climate will be “more difficult” in 2013. Her warning seems to contradict that of the country’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, who said in an interview last week that the worst of the eurozone’s crisis is in the rear-view mirror.

The BBC cites Merkel:

I know that many people are naturally concerned going into the new year. The economic environment will not in fact be easier but rather more difficult next year. But we shouldn’t let that get us down; rather it should spur us on.The reforms that we’ve introduced are beginning to have an impact. Nevertheless we need to have further continued patience. The crisis is far from over.

It could be that both Merkel and Schaeuble are right. The crisis, for Germans, likely will get worse next year as the country’s economy slows down even further.

In the eurozone, though, Schaeuble could be right when he says that the worst is over, pointing to the recent bailout funds sent to Greece and some improvement in the French economy.

Germany’s central bank has cautioned that the country may even brush up against a recession in 2013.

Paul Ausick

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