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Merkel pledges to cut EU red tape

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Cutting red tape and boosting innovation across the European Union will be top priorities when Germany takes on the EU presidency in 2007, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

Europe’s number one problem – unemployment – could only be solved by creating the right environment for growth and innovation, she said. {{more}}

In an indirect swipe at US foreign policy, both on trade and the environment, she rejected attempts to solve world problems with bilateral treaties.

And praising the work of the World Trade Organization, she promised to push for a breakthrough at the current round of trade talks.

Giving the keynote speech on the first day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chancellor Merkel defended trade and globalisation, but acknowledged that many people were worried about how it might affect them.

Promising to take personal charge of the fight against bureaucracy, Merkel said she would draw on the experiences of both the UK and the Netherlands in cutting red tape. (BBC)