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.
... der Gesundheitszustand der Kanzlerin Neuwahlen noch drängender mache. Diese Frage habe ich deutlich verneinen und auf die Hitze verweisen wollen. Das ist gründlich schief gegangen.— Annalena Baerbock (@ABaerbock) June 29, 2019
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”.
During the second day of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, the chancellor broke the silence herself saying "I'm convinced that just as this reaction has appeared, so too it will pass”. She did not reveal, however, if she had consulted a doctor.
Merkel, who turns 65 this July, announced last year that this would be her last term as chancellor and refused to seek re-election as the leader of the centre-right party Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She had headed the CDU since 2000, having led it to victory in the 2005 vote. It has been reelected three times since then.