Date: 17/4/2017




Centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron called for a “rebalancing” of Germany’s trade surplus in an interview with French and German media published Monday.

Even as he touted strong relationships with the German political leaders, Macron used the interview with Ouest-France newspaper and Germany’s Funke newspapers to call out German trade policy for hurting the Continent’s economy.

“Germany benefits from the imbalances within the eurozone and achieves very high trade surpluses,” he said. “Those aren’t a good thing either for Germany or for the economy of the eurozone. There should be a rebalancing.”

Macron, an independent, is facing fresh pressure from anti-EU candidates in the final week before the presidential election’s first-round vote. He has been running neck-and-neck with nationalist Marine Le Pen, ahead of three other candidates. However, recent polls suggest a surge for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who rails against Europe from the left.

Macron said his relationships with both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her challenger in Germany’s own upcoming elections in the fall, Martin Schultz, are “quite sincere.”

Last week, the conservative German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said he favored Macron, a former economic minister, in France’s race despite having more ideological affinity with Les Républicains candidate François Fillon. The Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon is also hoping for a last-minute comeback in Sunday’s first-round vote.