Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, speaks during a news conference at the Western Balkans Summit 2018 in London, U.K. (Photographer: Andy Rain/Pool via Bloomberg)

Merkel Says Turkey's Turmoil Shows Value of Shared Euro Currency

(Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed to the euro as a valuable defense against the type of currency speculation riling Turkey.

“These days, I’ve been happy that every country doesn’t act on its own, but that we have a common European cause,” Merkel said Tuesday in a town-hall meeting in the eastern city of Jena. “I am happy that we have a common currency, against which it is not so easy to speculate” in contrast to what’s happening in Turkey, she said.

The Turkish lira has been squeezed on financial markets, losing a quarter of its value this month after U.S. President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports and slapped sanctions on two ministers. In response to the currency crisis, Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to boycott iPhones in a demonstration of defiance.

While Merkel held up European integration as key to standing up to rivals including China, she rejected calls for a euro-area finance minister in the absence of a joint budget. A proposed euro-area budget would preferably be handled as part of the European Union’s financial planning, she said.

Asked by an audience member about Brexit risks to Europe, Merkel said she prefers a “contractual solution” and hopes a disorderly U.K. departure from the EU can be avoided.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.