Time is of essence for reforms in Europe, says Germany's Merkel

Emphasising that "time is of the essence", German chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said there is urgent need for fiscal reforms in Europe to promote growth and create jobs for the long term.

Davos: Emphasising that "time is of the essence", German chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said there is urgent need for fiscal reforms in Europe to promote growth and create jobs for the long term.

Merkel, who is among the key players leading efforts to revive European economic conditions, said the region has an opportunity to emerge stronger out of the crisis.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit here, Merkel said there is need for urgent fiscal reforms in Europe.

She also cautioned that irrespective of quantitative easing, European leaders must not be diverted from continuing with meaningful structural reforms.

"Time is of the essence... Every day we delay is a lost day. We need to promote growth and create long-term jobs," she said.

Noting that Europe is still not out of the woods, Merkel said, "the European single market needs to become less regulated and more open".

Debunking the "growth-austerity argument" as a false dichotomy, she said, "Germany has shown that growth-oriented fiscal policy is possible".

Merkel called upon other European leaders to begin fiscal consolidation and stressed that it was time to "get our houses in order".

Her comments come at a time when Europe is grappling with tough times, especially continuing troubles in Greece.

On Greece, Merkel said that Germany's actions have always been oriented towards keeping that country in the euro zone.

"We have to both show solidarity with Greece just as they show readiness to shoulder their responsibilities... Germany will remain a stable anchor in Europe," she noted.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) today said it would launch a programme to buy 60 billion euros of private and public bonds starting in March to avert the threat of deflation in the euro area.

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