Merkel tells voters: Brexit, French poll changed my view on Europe

Merkel challenger calls for guaranteed public investment

Merkel said her government, a coalition between her Christian Democratic-led bloc and the SPD, has already increased spending "massively" on broadband expansion, roads and pre-schools.

Schulz, whose SPD pulled almost even with Merkel's faction in surveys after his surprise nomination in January, has struggled to regain that initial momentum.

"If we do not invest heavily in research and development, in electric vehicles and energy-saving production processes, we'll fall behind", Schulz said, adding that Europe's largest economy was being challenged by countries where the state owned or subsidized firms.

"At this point we can't spend the money that we have", Dr Merkel said.

"In addition to the debt ceiling, we need a minimum speed for investments that preserve the fabric of our country", he said, according to Handelsblatt. "But Germany can do more".

The two parties now serve together in a grand coalition, and Merkel's party are the favourites to win again.

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Merkel's comments, made in a speech in the Baltic Sea resort town of Zingst two months before a federal election, underline her personal determination to deepen European integration if she is re-elected for a fourth term.

"For many people, including myself, something changed when we saw the Britons want to leave, when we were anxious about the outcome of the elections in France and the Netherlands", Merkel told voters, some of whom wore straw hats with black-red-and-gold hatbands, the colours of the German flag.

Social Democrat chief Martin Schulz lashed out yesterday (25 June) at Chancellor Angela Merkel, accusing her of "arrogance" as he sought to reverse his party's plunging popularity three months before general elections.

Merkel contributed Germany's strength to its European Union membership stating, "If Europe is stronger, then Germany will be stronger".

"Solidarity is not a one-way street", Schulz warned, calling for financial sanctions for those countries that violate the spirit of solidarity in the EU.

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