Angela Merkel Sits With Danish PM During Military Honours After Shaking Episodes

Elias Hubbard
July 11, 2019

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday insisted she took care of her health after remaining seated during national anthems at an official ceremony, in a rare change of protocol apparently to prevent a repeat of uncontrollable shaking.

Merkel, 64, sat alongside new Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen while the national anthems of both countries played during a military honors ceremony outside the chancellery in Berlin.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Merkel cited that the psychological impact of the first incident was responsible for her trembling for the third time.

"You can assume that, firstly, I am aware of the responsibility of my office and act accordingly, also as far as my health is concerned", she replied.

The first incident happened in near-identical circumstances as she stood alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at a military honours ceremony.

The chancellor's office has also dismissed concerns about her health.

The latest health scares have prompted additional questions over the length of her reign.

Merkel indicated at the time that the first incident on June 18 may have been caused by dehydration on a hot day.

Merkel, who first came to her role in 2005, announced previous year that once her term ends in 2021, she will not seek a fifth term, nor will she pursue any other political job thereafter.

Merkel said past year that she won't seek a fifth term as chancellor and won't seek any other political job after her current term ends in 2021.

But she has struggled to stamp out repeated speculation that she may leave the political stage earlier than planned.

Her fourth term is due to run until 2021 and she has ruled out running for a fifth term.

Manfred Guellner, head of pollster Forsa, said Merkel should be more transparent as many people looked to her for assurance in hard times and were unsettled.

"Merkel is the guarantee of stability and many people want her to serve a full term", he told Reuters. "To talk about "working it through" is not really sufficient".

Ms Demmer said she had "nothing to add". "I said that I have to process this event and that I am in this process, and I think that just as it came, it will go away one day".

Merkel is renowned for her work ethic and has a reputation for outlasting other leaders at European Union summits with her ability to focus on the details of complex discussions deep into the night.

Standing next to her at the press conference, Frederiksen said she found the chancellor "as strong and competent as before I came to Berlin today". This is a stark contrast to her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder - who faced questions in office about his marriage and whether he dyed his hair.

Public figures' health is generally regarded as a private matter in Germany and the country's privacy laws are very strict on that type of information. It is not publicly known if Merkel has any health problems.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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