Merkel vows to ensure stability of euro zone

Published March 18, 2013

| Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she would work with other leaders in Europe to ensure the stability of the euro zone after a weekend plan to save Cyprus by imposing a levy on bank deposits sent shockwaves through the single currency bloc.

"In our political functions we have worked to ensure the stability of the euro zone as a whole," Merkel said, speaking alongside French President Francois Hollande and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso before a meeting with European industrialists to discuss boosting growth, jobs and competitiveness.

"We have done this in past years and will continue to do so as we have in these days with Cyprus. Here too we want to ensure the the euro remains stable overall."

Cypriot ministers were scrambling to revise the plan agreed between euro zone finance ministers in the early hours of Saturday after it sparked a political backlash, sent the euro lower and weighed on global stock markets.

Their aim is to soften the blow to savers with less than 100,000 euros in deposits ahead of a vote in the Cypriot parliament on Tuesday. Under the plan agreed over the weekend, a 6.75 percent levy would be imposed on these deposits despite the fact that they are supposed to be fully guaranteed.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin)

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