German chancellor Angela Merkel was seen shaking as she met president Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday, her second such bout within two weeks, but her spokesman said she was fine and she headed off to Japan for this weekend’s G20 summit.
Merkel, 64, has no history of serious health issues. She was attending a farewell ceremony for Justice Minister Katarina Barley, who is leaving to become a lawmaker in the European Parliament, when the incident occurred.
Standing next to Steinmeier as he addressed the gathering, Merkel started shaking visibly in her upper body, then crossed her arms as if to brace herself. She was offered a glass of water but declined to drink it while Steinmeier spoke.
Berlin is in the throes of a heatwave.
After the ceremony with Steinmeier, Merkel went on to the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) for the swearing-in of the new justice minister. She showed no signs of shaking and looked relaxed, chatting and laughing with Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Asked if the chancellor would take part in this weekend’s G20 meeting in Japan, the spokesman said, ‘Everything is taking place as planned. The chancellor is well.’ Merkel later left on a flight to Osaka for the G20 meeting.
Another government official told Reuters that while Merkel attributed the tremors on June 18 to drinking too little water and too much coffee on a hot day, Thursday’s episode was more a psychological issue as she tried desperately to avoid a repeat.
‘The memory of the incident last week led to the situation today - so (it was) a psychologically driven process,’ the official said. ‘There is nothing to worry about.’
Merkel was seen shaking when she met visiting Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy on June 18 but later said she felt better after drinking some water.
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