AfD aside, Germans consider Angela Merkel′s health private | News | DW | 13.07.2019
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AfD aside, Germans consider Angela Merkel's health private

Nearly 60% of Germans say Angela Merkel's shaking in public is a personal matter, according to a survey. The chancellor, who turns 65 next week, has led Germany since 2005.

Fifty-nine percent of Germans believe that Angela Merkel should not have to publicly reveal information about her health following three shaking bouts in the past month, according to a poll published Saturday in the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung.

In the survey, 34% of respondents consider the chancellor's shakes a matter of public interest with 7% of saying they were undecided.

A large majority of 70% of supporters of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the allied Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) consider the chancellor's health her own business. Among Social Democrats (SDP), who back her coalition government, 60% followed suit.

For opposition parties, a whopping 67% of supporters of the Greens say the matter is private, followed by 59.2% of members of the Left party and 52.7% from the laissez-faire Free Democrats.

It is only members of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party who overwhelmingly consider Merkel's health their business, with just 29.4% saying it is a private affair.

Read more: Germany's Green leader sorry for linking Angela Merkel's shaking to climate crisis

"The reactions show that a public health bulletin from a personal physician, as in the USA, will not soon be released for our top politicians," Gregor Peter Schmitz wrote in a commentary for the newspaper published on Saturday. "On the other hand, should there be a further incident, the message that there is nothing to see here won't cut it. And, if the facts aren't correct, the situation will be difficult."       

Watch video 00:19

Merkel after third shaking spell: 'No need to worry about me'

'Very well'?

After her three bouts of shaking in public, Merkel remained seated during the national anthem this week at a ceremony with Denmark's new prime minister (pictured). However, the chancellor insists that she has managed her health "very well." Merkel has said her first bout of shaking, on June 18 during a ceremony with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, provoked a psychosomatic reaction that led to those that followed.

Read more: Angela Merkel blasts SPD for failing to back von der Leyen

On Friday, the mass-circulation daily Bild reported that Merkel has undergone extensive medical tests since the first incident, blamed on dehydration as a heat wave swept over Berlin. Nine days later, Merkel shook again as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier swore in Germany's new justice minister, Christine Lambrecht.

The chancellor again insisted on her good health earlier this week — after experiencing another bout of trembling at a reception for Finnish Prime Minister Anti Rinne.

Watch video 00:38

Merkel suffers new shaking spell, third in a month

mkg/jm (AFP, dpa)

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