German Chancellor Angela Merkel was breathing heavily during her brief statement at the Palais Beauharnais, the residence of the German ambassador in Paris, prior to attending the French Bastille Day celebrations on 14 July. But according to government spokesman Steffen Seibert, this shortness of breath is easily explained.
"The federal chancellor very quickly climbed the stairs in order to reach the waiting journalists in time and then gave her immediate statement. There is nothing special to report and certainly no reason for speculation", he said as quoted by Rheinische Post.
The state of Merkel's health has made headlines in recent weeks after being seen shaking uncontrollably when standing up at various public events. Asked to comment on the issue, the chancellor's office and Merkel herself have assured journalists and the public that she is fine, without elaborating on what could have caused the tremors.
Angela Merkel will turn 65 on 17 July. In autumn 2018, she stepped down as the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union party of Germany. She also said that she won't seek re-election as chancellor after her current term expires in 2021.