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Europe

Macron to visit Merkel on Monday

media Emmanuel Macron (L) with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the election campaign Twitter @EmmanuelMacron

French president-elect Emmanuel Macron is to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday on his first trip abroad in his new role. Germany is traditionally the first country newly elected French leaders meet.

Merkel and Macron will meet on Monday before holding a joint press conference and attending an official dinner, the German leader's spokesman, Steffan Seibert, said on Friday.

Although Seibert made no comment on what the pair would discuss, French sources told wire services probable subjects would include security, the economy and investment, social dumping and posted workers, a question that proved contentious during the French presidential election.

Germany is by tradition a newly elected French leader's first port of call and Macron is likely to be well-received by Merkel, who met him twice during the election campaign and was quick to hail his victory on 7 May.

He enthusiastically defended the European Union against his far-right rival Marine Le Pen, who in a TV debate quipped that "Whatever happens, it will be a woman who leads France - me or Mme Merkel".

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made it clear that pressure on France to reduce its budget deficit to the EU ceiling of three percent would continue.

"France can make it," he told Der Spiegel magazine.

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