The German chancellor, who has led Europe’s strongest economy and been named the most powerful woman in the world, has prompted speculations about her well-being after she was caught shaking on public on several occasions. Annalena Baerbock linked these episodes to climate change and extreme weather in Germany.
The Greens’ co-leader Annalena Baerbock has posted a sorry-tweet after linking Angela Merkel’s trembling episodes to weather extremes during the presentation of her party’s climate protection plans, saying “That went very wrong”.
“This statement was a mistake. I have apologised to the chancellor. I thoughtlessly made a connection that doesn’t exist. The context of my statement was the question from a journalist whether the state of the chancellor’s health made new elections more urgent. I wanted to say a clear no and refer to the heat”, Baerbock tweeted.
The left-wing politician came under fire after she said, “regarding the hot temperatures, we can see from the chancellor it is clear that this summer climate has health consequences”, as Deutsche Welle reported. She did not stop at this, however. Baerbock also referred to Merkel’s trip to Iraq, where she endured temps as high as 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit), and lamented that if temperatures were that high in Germany, “anyone who stands in the sun for an hour would get shaky”.
“The heat doesn’t stop for chancellors either”, Baerbock noted sarcastically.
The 64-year-old German leader’s health became a matter of public debates after she was spotted shaking on 18 June when she greeted newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Allegations of serious concerns were dismissed, as it was said to be a case of dehydration. The second shaking incident was observed during a ceremony for outgoing Justice Minister Katarina Barley on 27 June. However, officials insisted that “the chancellor is well” and said that the recent bout was “psychologically driven”.