Merkel suffers new shaking spell, third in a month

PTI, Jul 11, 2019, 10:52 AM IST

Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a new trembling spell on Wednesday, the third time in less than a month, which has raised questions over her health.

Merkel began shaking involuntarily as national anthems were being played at the reception of Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, an AFP photographer witnessed.

The shaking was visible although less severe than during the first episode in June. On that occasion she appeared unsteady and shook as she stood in the midday sun next to visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom she was welcoming with military honours.

The first bout of shaking was blamed on dehydration, but a second episode struck a week later at the end of June, just hours before she was due to board a plane for the G20 summit in Japan.

Officials had sought then to play down fears over her health, with her spokesman saying that she would not cancel any planned engagements.

Merkel, who turns 65 in a week, has always enjoyed relatively robust health.

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.

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