BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe's sovereign debt crisis will last at least five more years.
Merkel says the continent is on the right path to overcome the crisis but "whoever thinks this can be fixed in one or two years is wrong."
Two years ago some heavily indebted European countries were dragged into the turmoil that first gripped global financial markets in 2007.
Greece in particular has been struggling with the austerity conditions imposed on it by countries such as Germany.
But Merkel told a regional meeting of her Christian Democratic Party on Saturday that the time had come for "a bit of strictness."
Otherwise, she says, Europe won't be able to attract international investment.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.