Merkel criticizes quest for growth at any cost

September 20, 2011
View photos
German Chancellor and chairwoman of the German Christian Democrats, CDU, Angela Merkel, smiles during a news conference after the party's weekly executive committee meeting in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. Leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition vowed Monday to stick together following a state election wipeout for the troubled government's junior partner, but tensions over the eurozone debt crisis persisted. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the longstanding pursuit of growth at any cost is one cause of the debt crisis afflicting countries in Europe and beyond.

Merkel said Tuesday that the current debt troubles are in part the result of a "wrong philosophy" that persisted for decades.

She says that everything else was subordinated to growth as an end in itself — "and I don't think we can carry on that way."

Germany has led calls for troubled eurozone countries to get their budget deficits under control. Merkel says she sees a "historic chance to anchor a new culture of sustainable financial policy in Europe."

She renewed her insistence that "we don't want a union of debt — we want a European union of stability."