Leader of the German Free Democrats (FDP) Guido Westerwelle and German Chancellor and head of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel chat as they sign the agreement for a coalition government during a contract signing ceremony in Berlin October 26, 2009. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY)   By Madeline Chambers
BERLIN, Oct 26 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended on Monday her plans to pursue billions of euros in tax relief in the face of rising debt, saying the tough savings course favoured by her critics would damage a fragile recovery.