SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the German economic climate in 2013 will be "even more difficult".
In her new year message, she also cautioned that the eurozone debt crisis was far from over.
However, she did say that reforms designed to address the roots of the problem were beginning to bear fruit.
Her comments appeared to contradict German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble who said last week that the worst of the crisis was over.
In a taped interview to be broadcast later on Monday, Mrs Merkel urged Germans to be more patient.
"I know that many people are naturally concerned going into the new year," she said.
"The economic environment will not in fact be easier but rather more difficult next year. But we shouldn't let that get us down; rather it should spur us on."
She linked future German prosperity to a prosperous European Union.
"For our prosperity and our solidarity, we need to strike the right balance," she said.
"The European sovereign debt crisis shows how important this balance is.
"The reforms that we've introduced are beginning to have an impact. Nevertheless we need to have further continued patience. The crisis is far from over."
In an interview with the German newspaper Bild last week, Mr Schaeuble cited positive developments in Greece and France, saying: "I think the worst is behind us."
Germany - Europe's largest economy - has been the paymaster in the eurozone crisis, a move unpopular with many German voters and some conservative MPs in Mrs Merkel's coalition.
Analysts say most Germans remain wary of eurozone bailouts but generally approve of Mrs Merkel's handling of the crisis.
In October, the German government slashed its forecast for economic output in 2013 to 1.0%, compared to 1.6% previously anticipated.
The country's central bank has said Germany may even come close to recession early in the new year.
Nevertheless, Mrs Merkel underlined that Germany in 2012 had the lowest unemployment since reunification in 1990.- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — A recent opinion poll has found that most Germans oppose the country’s decision to sell advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia.
The poll conducted by the Hamburg-based weekly news magazine Stern, indicated that 75 percent of Germans are against the sales of arms to Saudi Arabia.
The results of the survey, published on July 25, showed that only 20 percent of the participants approved the sales, while five percent had no opinion.
The poll was conducted by phone among 1,100 German adults between June 23 and 25.
A recent press report revealed that Germany plans to sell 600 to 800 Leopard 2 combat tanks to the Kingdom instead of the 200 to 300 it reported a year ago. The deal is estimated to be worth 10 billion Euros.
Meanwhile, German peace organizations have joined opposition parties and public protests against the planned sale of tanks to Riyadh.
Public protests and the German government’s refusal to comment on the issue have prompted the country’s parliament, Bundestag, to set up a committee for an official inquiry into the deal.
The sale requires a green light from the top-secret National Security Council, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Many are concerned over the secretive nature of the deal, saying the tanks could be used to crush internal dissent in either Saudi Arabia or neighboring Bahrain where Riyadh has played a key role in smashing the popular uprising that started in March, 2011.
According to a report published by the London-based Amnesty International (AI), German weaponry including small firearms, ammunition and military vehicles have been massively deployed in the Middle East and North Africa to suppress peaceful protests. — www.shafaqna.com/english/