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German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech at the meeting of the G20 health ministers in Berlin, Germany, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch


BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany must help new French President Emmanuel Macron to succeed, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, saying she hoped he manages to fight unemployment in France and adding that the best way to counter populists was to solve problems.

Macron is due to meet unions on Tuesday to discuss labour reform. He has said he intends to use executive decrees as soon as this summer to reform labour laws in a country where unemployment remains high at 9.6 percent.

Asked about Germany's large trade surplus during an event at a school in Berlin, Merkel said her country could invest more even if domestic demand is already the driving force of economic growth.

The centre-right chancellor added that reasons for the surplus included a euro that is weak due to the European Central Bank's expansionary monetary policy and a low oil price.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, writing by Michael Nienaber and Emma Thomasson)

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The citizens' meeting

The citizens' meeting

The citizens' meeting