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Europe at standstill: Merck CEO

An accumulation of issues in Europe is set to keep the continent at a standstill in 2016, Karl-Ludwig Kley, Charmain and CEO of German science and technology company Merck, told CNBC in Davos on Thursday.

"There are too many problems accumulating in Europe at the moment," Kley said.

"They are covered by low interest rates, by the large available money which the ECB floats into the market, the low oil price (which) is good for the economies," he added.

"There are many positive signs, which prevent politicians from doing structural measures which are needed."

Kley also highlighted the refugee crisis that is currently gripping the continent, commenting that it "overshadows" everything else.

"I'm a bit skeptical whether politics will get its act together in 2016, and set the right incentives for (the) economy," he added.


While Europe was facing a tough year ahead, Kley struck a positive tone regarding his own sector.

"I think the sun is shining over the health care and life science sector and also over our materials business, because it's highly high tech and specialized," he said.

"So, in general terms, I believe that those industries focusing on high tech and specialties will do well in 2016 despite all the turmoils we see in the financial markets and… politics."

Kley stated that the U.S. remained the key market for all pharmaceutical industries.

The world's oldest chemical and pharmaceutical company, Merck was founded in 1668. In 2014, the company – which employs around 50,000 people – reported sales of €11.3 billion.

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