Germany must help new French President Emmanuel Macron to succeed, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, saying she hoped he manages to fight unemployment in France and adding that the best way to counter populists was to solve problems.
Macron is due to meet unions on Tuesday to discuss labour reform. He has said he intends to use executive decrees as soon as this summer to reform labour laws in a country where unemployment remains high at 9.6 percent.
Asked about Germany's large trade surplus during an event at a school in Berlin, Merkel said her country could invest more even if domestic demand is already the driving force of economic growth.
The centre-right chancellor added that reasons for the surplus included a euro that is weak due to the European Central Bank's expansionary monetary policy and a low oil price.
On Saturday, Merkel's Social Democrat (SPD) rival had said that he would model his campaign for the upcoming federal election on that of Macron, an outsider who was voted in as French President two weeks ago.
Martin Schulz, trying to regain momentum after a shock election loss in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia last week, the SPD's third defeat this year, said Macron's win showed a pro-European campaign could work.
"I will do exactly the same. We need a strong impulse for Europe that also stirs up a new enthusiasm for Europe," he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
Updated Date: May 22, 2017 17:28 PM