Speaking to the annual gathering of the Federation of German Industries in Berlin, Merkel underlined her support for a new European system of banking sector supervision but resisted calls to set it up as soon as possible, urging instead a "step-by-step" approach.
Germany disagrees with the European Commission over several aspects of the proposal for creating European banking supervision, including which banks should fall under European control and how to deal with deposit insurance.
S&P lowers eurozone growth outlook
Ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgraded its forecasts for eurozone growth through 2012. The agency said they now see the bloc's 2012 GDP growth at -0.8%, down from their previous forecast of -0.7%, and flat growth in 2013 from an increase of 0.3%.
S&P also foresees a deeper recession in Spain and Italy for this year and 2013. For Spain, the forecast is now for a 1.4% contraction next year from a -0.6% previously estimated.