This content is not available in your region

Germany's Merkel backs 'two-speed' Europe

Germany's Merkel backs 'two-speed' Europe
Text size Aa Aa

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday backed deeper political union between EU members, saying that she would accept a ‘two-speed’ Europe if some countries were opposed.

She told Germany’s ARD that this would be the next step in European integration after the launch of the single currency a decade ago.

“Those who are together in monetary union will have to get closer. We have to stay open, to keep it possible for all to join, but we must not remain immobile because one country or another does not want to follow yet,” Merkel said.

In the interview, Merkel again rejected the idea of eurobonds — the joint issuing of debt for the eurozone’s 17 members.

She will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Berlin later on Thursday to discuss the eurozone’s economic crisis.

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday that Germany and EU officials are exploring ways to help rescue Spain’s debt-laden banks.

Spain’s banks are hobbled by toxic property loans that will never be repaid after the collapse of the country’s real estate sector.

But the Spanish government insists it is not seeking an EU bailout for its financial instiutions.

However, Madrid has already stumped up 19 billion euros of state aid for Bankia, the country’s fourth biggest largest bank.