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Merkel's summit brings together German elite

 Merkel's summit brings together German elite
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German leader Angela Merkel has faced a lot of criticism at home for what is seen as her low-key response to the financial crisis.

This weekend she produced her response in the shape of a summit between the government and the cream of Germany’s business and political class, including trade unions.

The Chancellor was busy working the tables as the delegates sought to come up with measures to tackle the crisis.

“I consider this as a starting point for very close cooperation between all the leading actors in our society, to make us stronger and more resilient in the face of this crisis, and above all to protect jobs,” said Merkel.

Europe’s number one economy is expected to shrink by two percent next year, and that forecast has got steadily worse as the months have gone by.

However, Germany has been unwilling to throw money at the problem in the way the British and French have, so Merkel has EU as well as domestic critics to think about. With a general election to fight next September, her economic record will be closely scrutinised.