German Chancellor Angela Merkel says you can't spell Europe without the euro.
Speaking at an awards ceremony for Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Aachen, Merkel said Thursday that "If the euro fails, not only the money fails, but also Europe and the idea of European unity."
The chancellor asked European countries to fight for the stability of the euro-zone currency, saying governments had promised stability and "we have to keep this promise."
The euro has been under pressure recently over concerns that Greece's financial woes will spill over into the rest of the 16-member euro zone.
"This test is existential, it must be passed," Merkel said.
Tusk, who received the prestigious Charlemagne Award for furthering European unity, call the current financial crisis a "big test" but also an "opportunity to strengthen and further develop Europe."
Both Merkel and Tusk said they were optimistic that Europe would be able to overcome the current financial crisis.
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