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Germany

German Finance Minister Schaeuble enters hospital for four weeks

A spokesman has announced that wheelchair-bound Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will be admitted to hospital for four weeks to tend to a poorly healed operation wound, but will continue his ministerial duties.

Wolfgang Schaeuble

Schaeuble spent time in hospital in mid-February

Seven months after being hospitalized for a similar problem, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is to enter a hospital to treat a poorly-healed surgery wound, his office announced on Tuesday.

Despite the announcement, Schaeuble participated in a cabinet meeting and a press conference on the government's new energy plan on Tuesday.

"The inflammation requires treatment," spokesman Michael Offer told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday. "The incidents earlier this year have shown that he is also able to complete his duties from the hospital."

In a routine procedure in mid-February, doctors replaced an implant that helped regulate Schaeuble's digestive system. He left the hospital on his own accord, but was later readmitted because the wound healed poorly.

Past resignation speculation

Health problems have previously interfered with Schaeuble's duties in the German government. He was hospitalized in May during a summit of European Union finance ministers in Brussels because of a reaction to medication. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was quickly flown in to replace him.

Such incidents led to speculation that Schaeuble would resign his position. But Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly supported Schaeuble's decision to continue in office and asked him to prioritize his health and allow himself to heal completely.

An assassination attempt by a deranged man in October 1990 left Schaeuble a paraplegic.

Author: Andrew Bowen (dapd/dpa/AFP)
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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