Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

In Wake Of Brexit Merkel Vows To Strengthen EU

In Wake Of Brexit Merkel Vows To Strengthen EU

Schulz, a Social Democrat whose party has been Merkel's coalition partner for the past four years, pledged on Sunday to guarantee that surplus revenue would go toward spending on infrastructure if he wins the Chancellery on September 24.

"No one can say what life will bring, but I certainly intend to continue for four years", Merkel said in response to a question concerning voters' expectations of her being able to fulfill her vision for Germany.

Asked in a television interview by ARD public broadcaster about her investment plans and Schulz's criticism, Merkel said: "We now can not spend the money that we have". "I don't see the main problem in the question of whether there should be more money - you can and you must do that - but rather accelerating planning".

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Schulz said he was in favour of sticking to Germany's fiscal rules, also known as the debt brake, but he added: "In addition to the debt brake, we need a minimum level of investment that preserves the substance of our country and makes it sustainable".

Merkel insisted Sunday she won't accept it.

The German leader made a similar argument three days ago in Paris after holding a joint cabinet meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who had joined criticism of Germany's current-account surplus.

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Hours before Merkel's interview, Schulz unveiled a campaign plan that would include "much higher" infrastructure investment. He had signaled in an interview that Germany must help resolve the imbalance by promoting domestic demand through increased spending.

Polls ahead of the September 24 election show Merkel in a strong position.

The exchange comes 10 weeks before the federal election in which Merkel seeks a fourth term and follows a repeated call on Berlin by the International Monetary Fund to increase investment as a way to boost imports, support the recovery in other countries and reduce its record trade surplus.

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SPD leader Martin Schulz has accused Merkel of making empty promises about Germany's economic and political future as the former president of the European Parliament set out his own plans to boost investment and enhance European unity.

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