After a series of shaking spells sparked concern about her health, German Chancellor Angela Merkel remained seated for the national anthems at an official ceremony yesterday for the second time in a week.
Merkel took a seat next to visiting Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu during military honors for her guest, one day before the German leader's 65th birthday.
She has suffered three bouts of uncontrolled shaking while standing at public ceremonies, and remained seated last week as national anthems were played during a ceremony with Denmark's new prime minister.
However the German chancellor insists she is doing "very well" and there is no need to be alarmed about her well-being. After the first shaking episode, when she met visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on June 18th, Merkel said she felt better after drinking some water. She was also seen shaking on June 27th when she met German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier but her spokesman said she was fine and she later went ahead with her planned trip to Japan for a G20 summit.
A government official told Reuters that was more a psychological issue as she tried desperately to avoid a repeat. After her Japan trip, Merkel went straight into three days of tortuous talks in Brussels to decide on a new group of nominees for top European Union jobs, a package that has strained her coalition government. Frequently called the European Union's most influential leader and the most powerful woman in the world, Merkel has said she will leave politics at the end of her term, in 2021.