The eurozone sovereign debt crisis is far from over, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said in her New Year's address.

However, she says that reform measures designed to address the roots of the problem are beginning to bear fruit.

In a taped interview to be broadcast tonight, Ms Merkel urged Germans to be more patient even though the eurozone crisis has already dragged on for three years.

She drew a line linking German prosperity to a prosperous European Union.

"For our prosperity and our solidarity we need to strike the right balance," she said.

"The European sovereign debt crisis shows how important this balance is. The reforms that we've introduced are beginning to have an impact," she said.

Ms Merkel contradicted Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble with those comments.

In an interview on Friday in Bild newspaper, Mr Schaeuble said the worst of the crisis was over.

Germany has been the paymaster in the eurozone crisis, to the anger of many German voters and a growing bloc of conservative lawmakers in Ms Merkel's coalition.

Germans remain wary of eurozone bailout efforts but give Ms Merkel high marks for what they consider to be her judicious handling of the crisis.

Ms Merkel proudly pointed out that unemployment in Germany had fallen to its lowest level since reunification in 1990, while the number of people employed had also risen to record highs.

"That means that many hundreds of thousands of families have a secure future," she said.

"And that means that a lot of young people have the security of training and jobs and thus will get off to a good start in their careers."

But in face of slowing economic growth, she also warned that conditions could be more difficult in 2013 than in 2012.

"I know that many people are naturally concerned going into the new year," she said.

"And the economic environment will not in fact be easier but rather more difficult next year. But we shouldn't let that get us down; rather it should spur us on."