German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen trembling once again during a ceremony in Berlin on Thursday, eight days after a similar incident.
Video showed Mrs Merkel, 64, gripping her arms as her body was shaking on Thursday. After about two minutes, she looked steadier and shook hands with the new justice minister.
She was offered a glass of water, but did not drink it. Mrs Merkel had blamed the previous incident on dehydration. Her spokesman said she would set off for Japan as planned at lunchtime. “All is going ahead as planned. The federal chancellor is fine,” spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
German news agency DPA said that despite the spell of very hot weather it was cool during the ceremony in Bellevue Castle, where President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was presenting Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht. Last time, Mrs Merkel trembled while standing next to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in the hot sunshine. She said she had felt revived after drinking some water.
On Thursday she attended Ms Lambrecht’s inauguration briefly in parliament – the Bundestag – then left. She is scheduled to fly to Japan for the G20 summit.
Mrs Merkel also faces tough negotiations on Sunday when she and other EU leaders meet to find a candidate for the powerful post of EU Commission president, a replacement for Jean-Claude Juncker. On Wednesday, Mrs Merkel appeared to be her usual self in the Bundestag during an hour-long debate, and later gave a speech at Berlin’s Humboldt University.
German news channel NTV reports that Mrs Merkel had a bout of shaking in hot weather on a visit to Mexico in 2017, as she was attending a military honours ceremony. She has a reputation for remarkable stamina – during intensive late-night discussions at EU summits, for example.
Mrs Merkel is now in her fourth term as chancellor, a role she first began in November 2005. She has said she will leave politics when her current term ends in 2021. She is Germany’s third-longest serving post-war chancellor. The record was set by her centre-right Christian Democrat predecessor, Helmut Kohl (more than 16 years), and the second longest-serving chancellor was Konrad Adenauer (more than 14 years).
If Mrs Merkel were unable to fulfil her duties, Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz would step in. He is currently the finance minister, and is in the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), the CDU’s coalition partner. Mrs Merkel has been in good health while in office, and even worked from home after a knee operation in 2011; she suffered a fall while skiing in 2014. Her absences were only brief on those occasions.Photo Credit: Getty