Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Vienna in order to discuss the economic and financial situation along with the bilateral relations between Germany and Austria, one of the more financially solid members of the euro zone.
After receiving a rather hostile response to her visit to Spain, where hundreds of Spanish protested in the streets of Madrid, Merkel seemed somewhat relieved upon her arrival in Vienna. The talks were to cover the Euro crisis and stabilizing measures for ailing countries.
On Friday, Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann welcomed Merkel to Vienna with military honours. Faymann's deputy, foreign minister Michael Spindelegger, was also present at the meeting. Spindlegger had made it very clear a few weeks ago that he was not in favour of giving Greece more leeway when it comes to meeting the terms of the international bailout. He urged Greece to honour their commitments in terms of their reforms and the negotiated conditions. This is a sentiment that has also been been expressed by the Social Democrat party in Austria, whilst under the leadership of Faymann.
This stance sits well in line with the position taken by Merkel during her August meeting with Greek Prime Minister Samaras. Merkel has deemed German-Austrian relations excellent. She stated that their common language and long shared history have brought the two countries together. She also emphasised that Germany and Austria enjoy a thriving economic and cultural exchange and cooperate closely at political levels within the EU and the United Nations.
At a joint press conference during her visit, it was made clear that the euro is more than just an economic project. Merkel emphasised the need for every state to work on its own reforms. The eurozone as a whole must regain its credibility, she said.
In view of yesterday's decision by the European Central Bank, Merkel pointed out that the bank is absolutely committed to a stable currency. The ECB has also made it quite clear that the future of the euro will be determined largely by action at a political level. It will only be possible for the ECB to purchase government bonds issued by debt-burdened member states under certain conditions. She told the press that this conditionality is an important point, as control and assistance must go hand in hand and this is the way it has always been.