Merkel suffers new shaking spell
German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a new trembling spell on Wednesday, the third time in less than a month, raising questions over her health. Merkel began shaking involuntarily as national anthems were being played at the reception of Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, an AFP photographer witnessed.
A government spokesman played down the trembling, telling AFP: “The chancellor is well and the talks with the Finnish prime minister will go on as planned.” The shaking was visible although less severe than during the first episode in June. On that occasion she appeared unsteady and shook as she stood in the midday sun next to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom she was welcoming with military honours.
The first bout of shaking was blamed on dehydration, but a second episode struck a week later at the end of June, just hours before she was due to board a plane for a G20 summit in Japan. Officials had taken the same line then as on Wednesday, saying that she was fine and that she would not be cancelling any planned engagements.
Merkel, who turns 65 in a week, has always enjoyed relatively robust health. Frequently called the European Union’s most influential leader and the most powerful woman in the world, Merkel has said she will leave politics at the end of her term, in 2021.