Four MORE years of Merkel: German chancellor says she's going nowhere

Merkel could be gone in September if Schulz emulates Corbyn

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she planned to serve a full four-year term if re-elected and defended herself against a political attack by her Social Democratic challenger that she's faltered on public infrastructure investment.

Calling European Union membership one of Germany's biggest strengths, Merkel said last year's Brexit decision and elections in France and the Netherlands, in which pro-European parties defeated populist candidates, had changed her perspective.

Riots broke out in the city, with dozens of police officers injured by left-wing extremists. "We still have a lot to do in this regard", she added.

The eurozone needs a joint budget to increase investment and Germany should be prepared to do more in Europe, possibly by increasing its financial contribution to the bloc, SPD leader Martin Schulz said in a strategy paper presented on Sunday. She pointed to planning and capacity bottlenecks in the construction industry as well as at the level of regional authorities.

Merkel, whose public appointments dry up this week before she goes on summer vacation, holds a lead over Schulz's SPD of 13-17 percentage points. "But we also must be able to get everything built on the ground". While the French leader lauded Germany for undertaking labor-market reforms in a newspaper interview earlier the same day, he signaled Germany's competitive strength also derived from imbalances in the euro area that had helped weaken other member states.

"The long-sought limit of 200,000 refugees per year for Germany is necessary to ensure functional integration", the election manifesto says.

Germany's current-account surplus has been on the receiving end of persistent criticism, including most recently from the International Monetary Fund and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Merkel will likely be reelected in September elections opinion polls show.



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