Merkel Is Seen Shaking Again, Renewing Health Concerns
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany insisted on Wednesday that she was “well” and capable of fulfilling her job after she was seen shaking uncontrollably in public for the third time in less than a month, reviving concern about her health.
In videos of the event, she was seen struggling to remain still as her arms and legs began trembling while she stood beside Antti Rinne, the prime minister of Finland, watching a military honor guard.
As she had in the previous incidents, Ms. Merkel clasped her hands in front of her in an apparently futile attempt to contain the tremors.
Speaking to reporters less than an hour later during a news briefing, Ms. Merkel said, “I am well.”
Pressed by a reporter for more of an explanation, Ms. Merkel said that the shaking on Wednesday was part of the psychological trauma she suffered after experiencing uncontrolled trembling under similar circumstances on June 18, while appearing with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in the full afternoon sun.
“I was clear in saying that I am doing well and I think that can be accepted,” the chancellor said on Wednesday. “I said that I’m trying to come to grips with standing out there shaking while Mr. Zelensky visited and I think it’s going to blow over sometime soon.”
She added: “I’m not yet there yet, but I’m convinced that I am quite capable of doing my work.”
A government spokesman deferred to Ms. Merkel’s comments and provided no additional information.
Her aides attributed the initial shaking to dehydration, a problem that has plagued the chancellor in the past. After that episode, she also appeared at a news conference a short time later and told reporters that she had drunk several glasses of water and was doing fine.
But the trembling returned nine days later, when she stood alongside the German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, during a ceremony in the presidential palace. Although her aides again said that she was well, it became more of a concern. She later explained that episode as linked to what had happened during Mr. Zelensky’s visit.
Germans prize privacy and the chancellor’s health is not usually a matter of public interest. But the trembling on Wednesday quickly shot to the top of online news sites and was discussed on 24-hour news channels.
“I must live with this for a little while,” Ms. Merkel said. “But I think that just as it has come, it will go away again.”
Follow Melissa Eddy on Twitter: @meddynyt.
Richard Pérez-Peña contributed reporting from London.
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