Merkel's challenger: Germany should invest in infrastructure

Candidate of the German Social Democrats, SPD, for the upcoming election Martin Schulz delivers a speech where he presented his plan for the future in

Candidate of the German Social Democrats, SPD, for the upcoming election Martin Schulz delivers a speech where he presented his plan for the future in

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel's challenger in Germany's election is calling for the government to be obliged to invest in infrastructure such as roads, railways and schools.

Under Merkel, Germany has made it a priority to stop running up debt but has faced criticism for investing too little. Her center-left challenger, Martin Schulz, is struggling to dent a double-digit poll lead for her conservatives ahead of the Sept. 24 vote.

Schulz said Sunday: "The state, and that is right, is not allowed to run up unacceptable deficits. But then ... it must also use its money to improve public infrastructure according to binding specifications."

Schulz, a former European Parliament president, also said countries that don't show "solidarity" in matters such as accepting refugees shouldn't expect German solidarity in the European Union budget.