Merkel suffers new bout of trembling on eve of G-20 summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen trembling during President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's speech at a ceremony to appoint a new justice minister yesterday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen trembling during President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's speech at a ceremony to appoint a new justice minister yesterday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BERLIN • German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday suffered another episode of uncontrolled trembling, a week after a similar incident that sparked questions about her health.

The latest incident came hours before Dr Merkel was due to board a plane for the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Osaka, Japan.

The German leader began to tremble as she stood next to President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was giving a speech at a ceremony to formally appoint a new justice minister.

The shaking went on for two minutes, according to a DPA photographer who was present at the event.

Dr Merkel folded her arms to stop the trembling.

She finally brought it under control only when she was able to take a few steps. She was offered a glass of water but turned it down.

Her previous bout of shaking on June 18 had been blamed on dehydration on a hot summer's day.

Despite the latest incident, a German government spokesman said Dr Merkel would not be cancelling any appointments scheduled for yesterday and today. "The Chancellor is well," he said, adding that she will be flying as planned to Osaka for the G-20 summit, which starts today.

Dr Merkel, frequently called the European Union's most influential leader and the most powerful woman in the world, turns 65 next month.

She has said she will leave politics at the end of her term, in 2021.

There were brief concerns about her health in 2014 when she was taken ill during a television interview. The broadcast was briefly interrupted when she experienced a drop in blood pressure.

Her spokesman Steffen Seibert said at the time that the leader did not feel well for a moment, then ate and drank something and continued the interview.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2019, with the headline 'Merkel suffers new bout of trembling on eve of G-20 summit'. Print Edition | Subscribe