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Angela Merkel says she has a ‘preference’ for Macron in French election

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-04-2017 Arne Delfs

Brussels/Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’s backing Emmanuel Macron in the 7 May French presidential runoff, her second public endorsement of the front-runner in as many days.

“I have a certain preference” for Macron over nationalist Marine Le Pen, Merkel told reporters on Saturday in Brussels after a summit of European Union leaders to discuss their Brexit strategy.

The German leader has made no efforts to conceal her preference. On Friday she said that Macron will make a “strong president.” Asked whether he would have to prove that he’s not a “poodle” to Germany, Merkel called the expression “simply absurd” in an interview with German media group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

At the summit in Brussels on Saturday, Merkel said that her support “should not come as a surprise.” Merkel’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, has already backed Macron, saying he’d “probably” vote for the former French economy minister if he could.

It’s not the first time that the German chancellor has waded into a French election.

In 2012, she backed Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential campaign against Socialist challenger Francois Hollande. Hollande won and on Saturday attended his final summit of European leaders. Bloomberg

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