BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bouts of shaking at public events are triggering a debate among some of her Christian Democrats about whether she should pass power to another party person sooner than a planned handover in 2021, senior party sources say.
Merkel, 64, suffered her third shaking episode in as many weeks on Wednesday at a ceremony to receive Finland’s prime minister. Breaking with protocol, the chancellor opted to sit rather than stand at a similar welcome for Denmark’s premier in Berlin on Thursday.
Merkel showed no sign of tremors at Thursday’s ceremony and smiled broadly. She later gave broad assurances about her health, while declining to give any details. “I am aware of the responsibility of my office,” Merkel, asked about her health, told a news conference after meeting Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
“I behave appropriately as far as my health is concerned … I look after my health.” Although Merkel insisted “I am fine” on Wednesday, concern about her wellbeing is stoking discussion in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) about when she should hand over power to her protege, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Merkel, in office since 2005, has said she will not run again in elections at the end of this parliamentary term, due in 2021.
In December she gave up the CDU chair to Kramp-Karrenbauer – a move widely seen as the beginning of a handover of power. (Agencies)