By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — In a New Year’s message, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended the euro, but said European nations must strengthen their cooperation if the currency is to be successful.
In a televised address due to be broadcast on December 31, Merkel said the euro has brought convenience to consumers and made the German economy, Europe’s biggest, stronger since the currency was introduced 10 years ago.
But Merkel, acknowledging the debt crisis in some members of the 17-country eurozone, said European countries will need to cooperate more closely in order to overcome the crisis and secure the future of the common currency.
Merkel also warned that 2012 may be more difficult than 2011 as the region struggles with the debt crisis.