German Chancellor Angela Merkel Suffers New Shaking Spell, Third in a Month

Saul Bowman
July 11, 2019

Merkel began shaking at a reception Wednesday for Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne outside the chancellery in Berlin, her third such incident in less than one month.

A week later on June 27, Merkel also shook during a ceremony with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, just hours before flying off to the G20 summit in Japan. Frequently called the European Union's most influential leader and the most powerful woman in the world, Merkel has said she will leave politics at the end of her term, in 2021.

"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", she added.

The chancellor said at a news conference 90 minutes later: "Since then I've drunk at least three glasses of water, which I apparently needed, and now I'm doing very well".

The German Chancellor was previously spotted struggling to hide her shaking as she welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Berlin during a long period of extremely hot weather across the continent.

Merkel's office has given no explanation for her shaking episodes, prompting German media speculation about the cause.


The latest health scare has prompted additional questions over the length of her reign. "Should the chancellor tell us how she really is doing?" read a headline on the homepage of Bild, the country's largest newspaper.

In the video below, Merkel's whole body can be seen shaking, as she stands outside with Antti Rinnewatching the military honours that marked his arrival.

Mr Zelensky, 41, said he would have come to her rescue if necessary, insisting her health is not a matter of concern.

The health of public figures in Germany is generally regarded as private due to strict privacy laws.

Were Merkel to be incapacitated, Steinmeier would appoint a cabinet minister as acting chancellor until parliament elects a new chancellor.

Merkel announced a year ago that she would not seek re-election when her term ends in 2021. This need not be Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a member of the Social Democrats - junior partner in Merkel's ruling grand coalition.

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