Germany is committed to the euro currency and the German people are now stronger in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis, said Chancellor Angela Merkel in her annual televised New Year’s message.
The largest economy in Europe can boast the lowest unemployment rate since reunification, despite the global credit crisis, she said.
Joblessness in Germany is now under 7 percent, having fallen from as much as 11 percent in 2005. The euro zone currently has an average unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent.
In the third quarter of 2010, German GDP expanded by 0.7 percent, while euro zone as a whole gained only 0.4 percent.
For the whole year, Germany’s economy is expected to have climbed by 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent.
In spite of all economic worries, it turned out to be a good year for Germany, Merkel said.
And all of us can be happy about one thing - never have more people had work in reunited Germany than today. We achieved what we planned to do. We even emerged from the crisis strengthened. This is above all because of your work, dear citizens.
Merkel also praised the euro currency and tied it closely to the nation’s economic recovery and prosperity.
The euro is much more than a currency,” she said.
A united Europe is the guarantor for our peace and freedom. The euro forms the foundation of our prosperity. We have to strengthen the euro. Germany needs Europe, and our common currency, for our own well-being and also in order to overcome big challenges worldwide.