Merkel's health is a private matter, Germans say after shaking bouts

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 14, 2019

But she has declined to give any details about her health.

Nearly 60 per cent of Germans think that Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has recently experienced a number of shaking bouts in public, is not obliged to inform the society about her health condition, a poll conducted by the Civey pollster shows. Up to 51 percent said it was her own business, while seven percent said her shaking was nobody's business but her own in research by pollster Civey conducted on Thursday and Friday for the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper published today.

According to the poll, most of the supporters of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party believed that Merkel should provide public with information about her condition, while the majority of the respondents who support the German Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the CDU/CSU alliance thought that it was a private matter.

"Dear sitting chancellor, it broke my heart when I saw you sitting for the military honors for the Danish prime minister", Bild columnist Franz Josef Wagner wrote of her decision to break with protocol and sit at Thursday's welcoming ceremony.

The episodes have concerned many Germans and fired up a debate among some of the members of her party, the Christian Democrats, about whether she should step down sooner than a planned handover in 2021.

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Leading the European Union's largest economy, Merkel is renowned for her work ethic and has a reputation for outlasting otherleaders at EU summits with her ability to focus on the details of complex discussions deep into the night.

The chancellor, who has no history of serious health issues, insisted "I am fine" on Wednesday, after trembling at the ceremony to receive Finland's premier, and said she was "working through" a bout of tremors that first occurred in mid-June.

Ms Merkel has led Germany since 2005, making her the longest-serving political leader of a major Western democracy. Now serving her fourth term in office, she does not plan to stand again in the next election in 2021.

Ms Merkel chose to seek a fourth term only after long reflection, and said in November 2016 she was seeking to stay on "if health allows".

In the USA, portions of the results of the president's annual medical examination are traditionally made public, but in Germany, political leaders are generally expected to enjoy more privacy around their health.

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