Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has responded to
voter anger about eurozone bailouts by saying that people in southern Europe
should retire later and take fewer holidays, press reports said on Wednesday.
"(People) in countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal
should not retire earlier than in Germany. We should all make the same efforts,
this is important," the German press agency DPA cited Merkel as saying
late on Tuesday.
Merkel, who has come under fire for agreeing the bailouts
worth tens of billions of euros for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, also said
that differences in holiday rules within Europe should be ironed out.
"We cannot have a currency (the euro) with one person
getting lots of holiday and another person very little. Long term this can't
work," she was quoted as saying at a party event in Meschede, western
Germany is in the process of raising its retirement age from
65 to 67 as it seeks to bring down its budget deficit, which the government
forecasts will be within EU limits this year, helped by strong growth.
As Europe's biggest economy it has been the biggest contributor to recent bailouts.