Merkel health fears: German Chancellor forced to sit for national anthem to avoid shakes


    The 65-year-old took a seat alongside Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, as Deutschlandlied’, also known as ‘Das Lied der Deutschen’, played out. Angela Merkel chose to break with protocol after suffering a series of shaking shaking episodes in recent weeks. Her first bout of shaking came in June during a military ceremony to welcome the new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to Berlin in Germany.

    The German Chancellor crossed her arms as she tried to prevent the tremors.

    A week later she was trembling again when she attended an event with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

    Speaking after the second attack, Mrs Merkel’s team said it was caused by her fear of repeating the first episode of tremors.

    They told German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung: “There is nothing to worry about. The memory of the incident last week led to the situation today. It’s a psychological process.”

    It came after she blamed the first public shaking bout on dehydration.

    Earlier this month she had a third shaking bout as she stood for national anthems with Finland’s prime minister Antti Rinne in Berlin.

    She then chose to break with protocol the following day when she remained seated during a welcoming ceremony for the Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen.

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

    READ MORE: Angela Merkel fails to rule out EU top job in revealing interview 

    But sources within the Christian Democratic Union said officials are re-considering the timeline which sees

    Mrs Merkel stand down at the 2021 election to make way for party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

    Mrs Merkel told reporters she was looking forward to life after serving out her fourth and final term in office through to 2021.

    She said: “I can carry out this role. As a person, I have a strong personal interest in my health and 2021 is the conclusion of my political work.

    Once described as the world’s most powerful woman, Mrs Merkel surrendered her 18-year leadership of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) last year and is preparing to step down as chancellor in 2021 after losing grip on power in the face of plummeting opinion polls and an unpopular and ineffective coalition government.

    Quizzed over how she would like to be remembered in the history books in 50 years time, Mrs Merkel replied: “Well, I can’t… that’s… um… ‘she tried’”.

    Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg


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