Merkel: EU Will Do Everything to Secure Euro

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Europe will do everything to secure the stability of the euro, which has come under pressure in the euro zone debt crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel

She added that reform and stability will remain on the euro zone's agenda next year as the bloc fights to secure the single currency and make its economies more competitive.

"We will do everything to secure the financial stability of the euro as a whole," Merkel said at a news conference after a European Union summit.

EU leaders have spent most of 2010 trying to come up with successful measures to stop the region's debt crisis spreading, but Greece and Ireland have already been forced to seek EU bailouts and Portugal, Spain, Belgium and others are now in the spotlight.

Merkel said she was impressed with the reforms implemented by Spain and Portugal.

Meeting in Brussels, EU leaders agreed to try to lengthen the maturities of new sovereign bond issues and confirmed that private investors would be involved in the future euro zone rescue mechanism, a draft summit statement showed.

On Thursday, they finalized plans for a permanent 750 billion euro financial safety net due to be in place by 2013. Merkel said the fund would be sufficiently large.

"The more coherent economic policies are, the more we see by 2013 that states have made progress with a culture of stability, the lower the financial extent of the (rescue fund) will have to be," she added.

Merkel declined to comment on whether a discussion on proposals to issue joint euro bonds would continue.

She also told a news conference that the crisis mechanism was an expression of solidarity.