Merkel Says Balanced Budget, Energy Will Take Priority in Her Third Term
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said eliminating the budget deficit and completing the country’s transformation from coal and nuclear energy to renewables are key priorities for her third four-year term. While Germany is recovering economically with rising employment, despite tough global competition, the nation’s progress depends on advances in Europe overall and overcoming the government debt crisis plaguing the continent, Merkel said. Merkel, who was sworn in for a third term on Dec. 17, is benefiting from an economic rebound in Germany as she seeks to end net new borrowing by 2015. The chancellor is bound by constitutional rules to balance the budget by 2016 and by European Union pledges to cut the national debt to 60 percent of economic output from about 80 percent today.