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You're reading: Merkel says Nobel Prize a personal spur to action on Europe

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union on Friday as a "wonderful decision" and said it would inspire her personally to press ahead with closer integration.

“The fact that the Nobel Committee has honoured this idea is
both a spur and an obligation, also for me in a very personal
way,” she said in a short statement to reporters at the
chancellery.

“Six decades of peace in Europe, that is a long time for
those of us who live in the EU, but from a historical point of
view it is just the blink of an eye,” she said. “We must work
tirelessly and continue to strive for peace, democracy and
freedom.”

Merkel, leader of the EU’s biggest economy, has led the
drive to defuse the debt and financial crisis threatening the
survival of the euro currency.

But her insistence on tough fiscal measures to cut debt in
the midst of a wrenching recession in southern Europe has drawn
strong criticism from some countries in the 27-nation EU.

On Tuesday huge protests greeted her visit to Greece, the
euro zone’s hardest hit member.

Merkel has called for the transfer of more powers to
supranational EU institutions to help overcome the crisis but
faces strong resistance from some member states and has yet to
spell out a detailed vision of how this would work.

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