Aug. 16 - During a visit to Canada, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed for faster fiscal euro zone cooperation as a way to restore market confidence and backed a pledge by the European Central Bank to do ''whatever it takes'' to save the euro. Conway G. Gittens reports.
NOTE: SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION OF ANGELA MERKEL COMMENTS: ENGLISH TRACK 1/GERMAN TRACK 2 Bi-lateral talks on a massive economic trade package between Germany, the European Union, and Canada were overshadowed by the European debt crisis as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Speaking through an interpreter Merkel stood by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's recent pledge to do "whatever it takes" to protect the euro. SOUNDBITE: GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL (GERMAN WITH SIMULTANEOUS ENGLIGH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "The president of the European Central Bank, what he said is something that we repeated time and again, actually since the beginning of the Greek difficulties more than two years ago, that we feel committed to do everything we can in order to maintain the common currency. So European Central Bank although it is of course independent is completely in line with what we've said all along and the results of the meeting of the central bank and their decisions, and also actually shows that the European Central Bank thinks that political action as regard conditionality is simply a pre-condition for a positive development in the euro area and this being shaped in a positive way." In Merkel's view that political action means closer fiscal union, with EU powers to intervene in national budgets as a way to restore market confidence. But she warns timing is crucial. SOUNDBITE: GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL (GERMAN WITH SIMULTANEOUS ENGLIGH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "Part of the problem with the euro is that some credibility was impaired because quite often we said we would do certain things and then didn't do them in practice and this credibility has to be regained because this it is the most important boon we have vis-à-vis investors, we need this, we need investors from outside Europe. Europe in and of itself will not be able to prevail with just European investors. We will not be able to finance our debt with just European investors and this will depend on our reliability and our credibility and this is why we need to talk about this in the autumn." The two leaders agree the euro zone also needs faster growth and employment to stop the debt crisis from spiraling further and they hope to sign a trans-Atlantic trade agreement by year's end, to help. Conway Gittens, Reuters