Emmanuel Macron has turned upon Angela Merkel
The former French finance minister, who was appointed to the role as a civil servant by Francois Hollande before quitting the government last year, has taken aim at Germany as his campaign slows down in France.
And it apparently shows for the first time that the pro-EU candidate is feeling the freeze from members of the public who do not support the bloc.
Mr Macron, 39, has dropped as many as four percentage points after far-left socialist and anti-EU candidate Jean Luc Melenchon picked up his slack.
Germany benefits from the imbalances within the Eurozone and achieves very high trade surpluses
Mr Melenchon, 65, who appeared to an audience of young people as a hologram last week is picking up votes in categories where Mr Macron is failing.
Now, despite claiming to be a "convinced European”, Mr Macron appears to be upsetting the applecart with Germany.
In an interview with a French newspaper he claimed Germany is trying to benefit from "imbalances" of trade in the Eurozone.
Emmanuel Macron met with Merkel when Hollande hired him
He said: "Germany benefits from the imbalances within the Eurozone and achieves very high trade surpluses.
"Those aren't a good thing either for Germany or for the economy of the Eurozone.
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"There should be a rebalancing."
Germany has been recording year on year surpluses, breaking a record of €244billion or £206billion in 2015.
In recent weeks Angela Merkel has been using the economy to win votes in her forthcoming election.
And seemingly trying to cash in on the far-reaching euroscepticism gripping the bloc, the German chancellor even hinted about bringing the Deutsche Mark currency back.
Macron has helped to shape EU policy along with Merkel
British bookmakers say that they are looking at a far left and far right scenario and they have slashed the odds of Mr Macron triumphing.
They imply Mr Macron has a 54 per cent chance of winning, down from 65 per cent before Melenchon's surge in the polls.
Naomi Totten, spokeswoman for Betfair, said: "If Melenchon continues to gain ground and Macron continues losing it with Le Pen holding hers, this presidential race could potentially become a far-right versus far-left battle in the second round."
In February Mrs Merkel signalled her own concerns with Europe during the visit of US vice-president Mike Pence to Munich.
The chancellor revealed even she is becoming concerned with the European wide currency.
And amid calls for the Deutsche Mark to be returned in her native Germany she said the ECB's policy is not geared towards her country and benefits other member states.
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Members of the French RAID police unit leave after searching the home of one of two men arrested in Marseille on April 18, 2017 after they were suspected of plotting an
The 63-year-old Christian Democrats leader, who is facing being booted out of office over her failed policies, said she believed the country's former currency would have a "different value" if it was still in place.
And she implied her country's involvement in the single currency, which is used by 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, is propping up less productive economies.