Macron floats backing Merkel as head of EU's executive arm

French President Emmanuel Macron says he would support German Chancellor Angela Merkel if she wanted to be the head of the European Union's executive body.

The French leader said Tuesday the EU "needs someone strong" at the helm of the European Commission but that he wouldn't try to influence Merkel, citing their friendship.

Macron told Swiss public broadcaster: "If she were to want it, I would support her."

Merkel said last month she doesn't want the EU job, or any political post.

She has supported former German lawmaker Manfred Weber to replace Jean-Claude Juncker, a former prime minister of Luxembourg whose five-year term as European Commission president ends later this year.

Merkel announced in October that she would not seek re-election after her fourth term as Germany's leader ends in 2021.