Merkel says she will serve full four-year term if re-elected

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Merkel underlined her determination to run for a full four-year term in the September 24 election.

Such an investment push would cost "a lot of money", Schulz said but it would be better to spend the country's budget surplus that way than wasting it by promising voters tax cuts-a clear dig at Merkel's conservatives.

The German government's problem is rather bureaucratic barriers to allocating funds, which require accelerated planning processes, she said.

Merkel said the riots were absolutely unacceptable but it was still right to have invited G20 leaders to Hamburg.

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"Before we draw conclusions, we should first wait for talks and discuss these things with NATO's help", Merkel said.

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.

Presenting a ten-point-plan for a modern Germany and a better Europe, Schulz said he would introduce an investment obligation for the state to boost public spending on infrastructure and education.

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. The IMF says the imbalance has sapped Europe's economic recovery and created global risk, while Trump says it is simply "unfair".

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"We have the greatest interest that all nations in the euro area and in the European Union are strong", Merkel responded.

Mr Schulz will go head-to-head with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany's elections on September 24.

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.

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