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Germans fret about Merkel after shaking episodes

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 1 week ago - Duration: 01:49s

Germans fret about Merkel after shaking episodes

"Does Merkel travel too much?" asked mass-selling daily Bild on Friday as Germans fret about the health of their chancellor, who sat rather than stood at a ceremony on Thursday after shaking for the third time in as many weeks when standing a day earlier.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Germans fret about Merkel after shaking episodes

German Chancellor Angela Merkel seemed relaxed and steady on Friday (July 12) morning.

A far cry from her appearance just two days earlier, when she was seen shaking uncontrollably for the third time in three weeks.

She also broke protocol on Thursday (July 11) by sitting down during the welcome ceremony for the Danish prime minister.

The tremor episodes -- which were first noticed at the end of June -- have unnerved the German public, many of whom look to Merkel as a political rock in an unstable world.

Concerns about her health have led many to question whether her work schedule is too punishing.

"OUR CHANCELLOR / SO WEAK, SO COURAGEOUS!'' said mass-selling German newspaper Bild on Friday morning.

According to the newspaper, Merkel has been on 21 foreign trips so far this year.

That's more than French President Emmanuel Macron, on 17, and 62-year-old British Prime Minister Theresa May, on 16.

But Merkel, who is renowned for her strong work ethic, tried to reassure the public this week.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "To start off with the first topic, I am fine.

I have recently said that I am working through what happened during the military honours with (Ukrainian) President (Volodymyr) Zelenskiy.

This process is clearly not finished yet but there is progress and I must live with this for a while but I am very well and you don't need to worry about me." The chancellor, who has no history of serious health issues, declined to give any more details.

Merkel has led Germany since 2005, making her the longest-serving political leader of a major Western democracy.

She plans to step down before the next federal parliamentary election, due in 2021.

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