The German Chancellor’s tremors during President Volodymyr Zelenzky’s visit to Berlin caused concerns, but she simply attributed it to heat and dehydration.
67-year-old Angela Merkel welcomed Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelenzky in Germany’s capital city with military honors, but something about her as the two walked into her office building during a ceremony raised concerns about her health.
Merkel was seen visibly shaking and unsteady under the summer noon sun, with the temperature reaching 82F (28C), which, as she explained later, caused the politician’s alarming symptoms.
The German head of state tried her best not to show any discomfort as Germany’s and Ukraine’s national anthems were played by a military band outside the executive government building but everybody could tell that something was happening to her.
When the bands were done playing, Merkel appeared to have recovered and she rushed into the chancellery but not before making a pause to greet the musicians and receive a military salute.
Less than two hours after the event, Merkel was asked how she was feeling at a news conference, to which she replied, “Since then I’ve drunk at least three glasses of water, which I apparently needed, and now I’m doing very well.”
In a display of his signature humor, 41-year-old Zelenzky, the comedian-turned-president, tried to lighten the spirits by stating that Merkel had nothing to worry about as he was ready to support her.
“She was standing next to me and completely safe,” joked the recently elected Ukrainian leader.
It is reportedly not the first time when Merkel falls victim of dehydration, with her busy schedule apparently prompting her to forget about drinking as much water as her body needs to function correctly.
According to the DPA German news agency, Merkel has been seen shaking in a similar way to that of her official appointment with Zelenzky on previous occasions.
Merkel, who has been behind Germany’s wheel for almost 15 years and is considered the most powerful woman in the world and the European Union’s most influential leader, has a big weight to carry on her shoulders, and sometimes it has taken a toll on her wellbeing.
But she is about to get a well-deserved rest, as she announced that once her current term in office is over in 2012, she will be retiring from politics.
Born on July 17, 1954, the soon-to-be 65-year-old Merkel is the first female chancellor of Germany. Before becoming a politician, she studied physics at the University of Leipzig, formerly known as Karl Marx University.
It was while at school, from which she graduated in 1978, where she met her first husband Ulrich, whose last name she kept despite divorcing him in 1982. In 1986 she became Doctor in Quantum Chemistry.
Despite growing up in communist German Democratic Republic Merkel wasn’t a member of the Socialist Unity Party, and as soon as the Berlin Wall was taken down she joined Democratic Awakening as the party’s spokesperson.
She later switched to the Christian Democratic Union political party, which in turn merged with its western counterpart after Germany’s reunification in 1990.
In December 1990, Merkel became an elected official for the first time as a member of the parliament, and ever since then, she has served her country’s government in one form or another.
During the 15 years that took her from that moment on to become the country’s leader, Merkel was Minister of Environment, head of her party, and leader of the opposition.