Merkel warns of more difficult year ahead
Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that despite the country's relatively stable economic situation and low unemployment, next year will be more difficult than 2011.
But Merkel did not identify those difficulties or say how they will affect the average German.
Instead, her annual New Year's speech - which was released in written form on Saturday before being broadcast later in the day - insisted that despite the problems Europe is facing, the financial crisis will eventually bring the continent closer together.
Merkel said the path to overcoming Europe's biggest crisis in decades will be "long and not without setbacks, but at the end of this path Europe will re-emerge stronger from the crisis than it was when it entered it".