"Remember the reunification process. How much time it took in the early 1990s to rebuild new administrative infrastructures, share know-how and privatise," Merkel told Tagesspiegel, a Berlin Newspaper.
A day after International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde urged countries to act quickly to resolve Europe's financial mess, Merkel took a different tact. "We must be patient," she said, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble also outlined a tougher stance this week, saying, "I understand that there is resistance among the Greek population to austerity measures. But in the end it is up to Greece whether it can fulfill the conditions necessary for membership of the common currency. We offer no discounts."
In Greece Saturday, the government expected a mass protest in Thessaloniki, where Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was scheduled to speak, The Guardian reported.
It is expected that on top of several rounds of austerity measures, the government in Athens could resort to laying off as many as 110,000 government workers.
Papandreou has already said an initial round of 10,000 layoffs would be followed by 10,000 more within the next few weeks.