Chancellor Angela Merkel is telling German lawmakers that Europe faces an "existential" test as it works to shore up the euro.
Merkel said today as she addressed the lower house of parliament that the shared currency is in danger, and that failing to meet the challenge would have incalculable consequences.
Parliament was meeting to consider the euro750 billion ($1 trillion) rescue package to help eurozone nations avoid default -- with Germany to contribute at least euro123 billion in loan guarantees. It's expected to vote on Friday.
Merkel said Europe is facing its biggest test in decades. She said: "it is about no more and no less than the preservation of the European idea. That is our historic task; if the euro fails, then Europe fails."