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German challenger Schulz slams Merkel as aloof as campaign heats up

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Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is "aloof" and "out of touch", her main challenger Martin Schulz said Sunday, stepping up his attacks as he seeks to turn around a flagging campaign ahead of next month's general election.

It was "a good style to talk about the modalities of how things can be done", Merkel said on Tuesday at her summer press conference in Berlin.

Seeking a fourth term, Merkel has had to contend with loud and sustained heckling on her campaign trail from demonstrators strongly opposed to her refugee policies. Her conservative Christian Democrats are far ahead of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) in latest opinion polls.

"In spite of that, it is necessary to continue negotiations on the possibility of a [political] transition that would facilitate reconciliation", Merkel stated.

Alice Weidel, one of its top leaders, told foreign reporters Monday: "If I had a wish list, I would like Donald Trump to tweet less, clean up his own shop more and deal more humbly with his governmental responsibility". "And if I can do that, then I can win the parliamentary elections".

Merkel is cruising toward re-election in September after overcoming criticism of her handling of the migrant crisis.

She said: "That some countries refuse to accept any refugees is not on".

"There are many areas where people have the feeling that Merkel is lost in reverie", Schulz said, in particular accusing her of using military aircraft at "dirt cheap" prices to fly around the country for her 50 campaign stops in the final six weeks of the election.

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"If she wants to come in under my leadership with the CDU as junior partner, then we can see".

The Chancellor was booed as she ascended the stage and the outbursts continued.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling on Turkey to release German citizens swept up in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt, calling their imprisonment "unjustified".

'That contradicts the spirit of Europe, ' she said.

"You've raised the issue of the rule of law in Poland - that's a serious issue because the requirements for cooperation within the European Union are the principles of the rule of law".

But the 63-year-old has lashed out at critics, admitting she would react "the same way again" if a similar crisis erupted.

Merkel further said she could not remain mum about what European Union leaders, activists and opposition politicians in Poland say is a lurch towards authoritarianism in Warsaw under the nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), which won election in 2015.

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