Angela Merkel, who turned 65 on Wednesday and despite speculation about his health, intends to remain chancellor of Germany until the end of your current period in 2021.
A series of official events in which he suffered severe tremors have the germans talking about their health. And as you get closer to the retirement age in Germany increases from 2012 gradually until 2029 from 65 to 67 years, in function of the years listed, the are closely watching.
The headlines of the newspapers wonder if you are fit enough to stay in office. The medical experts that offer a remote diagnostic swarm of a program of discussion of the television to another.
When he turned 60 years, the German chancellor, celebrated by attending a conference on globalization. When he turned 50, the highlight of the party was the talk of a neuroscientist.
Perhaps it is the idea that all have of what it is to have a good time, but were events very well-publicized. This birthday, however, it is possible that you have not chosen to be the center of attention.
How they began the episodes
The first episode of tremor severe occurred in June, when the chancellor received in Berlin the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
While it sounded like the national anthem, began to tremble uncontrollably. After a few minutes he recovered and continued with the meeting normally. Then, he said, had been the result of the unusual high temperatures and dehydration.
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Nine days later he did something similar during a public event with the president of germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
And, last week, gave the scrapie a third time when I gave the welcome to Berlin, the prime minister of Finland, Antti Rinne, also, when sounded the national anthem.
That third episode was a sequel to ‘ psychological firstor, he explained a government spokesman, saying that the concern that we would return to occur unleashed a new attack of spasms.
The next day, to avoid a repeat when it received the prime minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, the two leaders listened to the national anthem, sit-ins, in place of stops as is usual. The same thing happened during the visit of the leader of Moldova, Maia Sandu, the Tuesday.
Merkel has repeatedly said that feels good, that it is in perfect condition to meet your work and that there is nothing to worry about.
Under the magnifying glass
It appears to be relaxed and confident, and that continues with the same workload as always. It is not clear what is the cause of scrapie or if the chancellor knows it.
Now, every appearance in public is subject to careful scrutiny to identify the possible signs of a disease.
On Monday, his spokesman was forced to issue a statement on why Merkel seemed short of breath during a visit to Paris.
“Merkel is fighting to regain the breath”, read one newspaper headline. It turned out that he had just up in a hurry a few stairs to get to a press conference.
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But the political opponents, sensing weakness, have been made to feel.
The former chief of intelligence Hans-Georg Maasen, a critic of Merkel, who was forced to resign after seeming to downplay the violence of the extreme right, wrote: “The health of the leader of the government is not a private matter. The people in Germany have the right to know if the head of the government is in a position to comply fully with their duties”.
The online comments of other critics of its policy towards refugees have been more ruthless, giving a glimpse of an undercurrent of aggression in the current political debate in Germany. The more moderate called it a traitor that deserves to fall sick.
In most cases, however, the German media have been respectful, with many commentators insisting that it must trust the word of the chancellor and that their privacy must be respected.
A large part of the German constituency agrees. According to a survey, 59% of respondents believe that Merkel does not have to disclose any information about your health. Only 34% asked to make public a diagnosis more detailed.
Who would replace?
For many, the image of the leader German shaking uncontrollably is something distressing to see.
She is known for her discipline and resistance: the last of the heads of state who remains standing during the summits that last all night.
These episodes serve to remind us that after 14 years at the helm of the country, the era Merkel is coming to an end. And I might even finish earlier than expected.
Your critics would be very happy with that. But there are doubts about what might happen if the most powerful and long-lived leader of Europe suddenly was unable to remain in office.
His center-right party CDU is split by divisions between the centrist followers of Merkel and the conservative hard-line.
The favorite of the chancellor for that to happen in the office, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who now leads the CDU, he has lost credibility by a series of gaffs patto. His coalition government is often seen shaken by fights and may not last until the end of the year.
Sometimes it seems as if Merkel was the only constant that keeps it all together.
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If you suddenly become unable to stay in office, according to the Constitution would not have a successor immediately. The president of Germany would be temporarily appointed as head of government until Parliament elects a new chancellor.
The debate around the health of Merkel indicates that, even in Germany, where privacy is sacrosanct, leaders are under pressure to be more transparent.
Chancellors earlier, including Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl, have managed to maintain a serious disease hidden from the public.
Even the most routine event official that Merkel attends is being carefully observed and filmed and shared onlinein search of some sign of the slightest tremor.
Such scrutiny does not report much. However, it is evidence that if the episodes of tremors continue, the simple excuse that “all is well” will not be enough.
Meanwhile, Merkel is pressing ahead with its usual demanding schedule of work and has not cancelled a single meeting.
The work continues, but the pressure has increased.
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