Angela Merkel anthems — German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, preferred to listen to the anthem of her country sitting down on Thursday in Berlin to avoid a new episode of tremors that have generated a wave of speculation about her health in recent weeks. It is an unusual break in protocol for the German leader.
Merkel received the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, when they arrived by car to the Chancellery and together they walked to the chairs placed in front of the orchestra, where they took a seat to listen to the Danish and German anthems.
During the subsequent press conference, the chancellor was asked if she had seen a doctor, but Merkel avoided giving details.
“They can assume that, first of all, I know the responsibilities of my position and that therefore I act in accordance with my health,” Merkel said, according to AFP. “And in the second place, you can assume that as a person, I have a personal interest in having good health and I take care of it,” she added.
Frederiksen said that she had found her German counterpart “as strong and competent as ever”.
Merkel has indeed suffered a new episode of termors on Wednesday, the third in just over three weeks, during the reception with military honors of the Finnish Prime Minister, Anti Rinne.
Shortly after, Merkel clarified during a joint press conference with Rinne that she was “very well” and blamed this new episode on the psychological effects of the first one that occurred on June 18 during the reception with military honors of the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski.
“I am very well, I have already said recently that I am still at a stage of processing of the incident that occurred during the military honors with President Zelenski. Apparently, it is not done yet, but there is progress and I will have to live with it for a while,” she said, according to local media, and assured that “there is nothing to worry about”.
The state of health of Merkel, who will turn 65 on July 17, has aroused concern and sparked speculation not only in Germany but around the world since the first episode of tremors, which the chancellor then attributed to a supposed problem of dehydration.
After a second episode of tremors a week later during a public ceremony at the Bellevue Palace, the headquarters of the German presidency, Merkel assured in a press conference during the summit of the G20 in Osaka (Japan), that she was well and had “nothing particular to report.”
“I feel good, I am convinced that in the same way that this reaction made its appearance, it will also disappear,” she said at the time referring to a possible neurological factor.
The symptoms of the tremors are in any case so vague that nobody in medical circles has been able to make a decisive diagnosis. There are in fact many hypotheses, some believe that the tremors are psychosomatic tremors and indicative of Parkinson’s disease, according to the correspondent Sergio Correa of the French RFI, although the German press maintains enormous discretion on the subject.
Merkel became Chancellor of Germany in 2005 and, after obtaining a fourth term in 2018, announced her planned retirement for 2021. She has been in power for almost 14 years and will have been in total for 16 years, during which she was always admired for her work routine (daily working hours between 14 and 16 hours) and her stress management and the enormous tensions of governing Europe’s leading economic power in years of financial crisis and weakness in the European Union. But everything, it seems, has a limit, even for Merkel.