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Russian TV: In-Depth Segment on Merkel's Weird Shaking in Public

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It is hard to overstate what a disaster Merkel has been for Germany. She has done to Germany what Hillary would have done to the US had she been elected. Hopefully she will be gone soon. It is interesting that Russian TV thinks this is a very important story whereas in the US it does not merit coverage. Antonov is Russia's long-time correspondent in Berlin, and he is excellent.

Transcript below:


Germany is monitoring Angela Merkel's health again. The chancellor failed to hide her discomfort during top-level meetings in front of cameras for the third time this summer. The German government assures that the head of state is in excellent shape, but it's becoming more and more difficult to calm the public and opponents. What could be behind the inexplicable tremor in the most influential woman in the world, as political ratings call Merkel?

Here's Mikhail Antonov reporting from Berlin.

Merkel will be 65 next week. It's the most productive age for a politician. But Germans have to worry about how she feels for the third time in three weeks. This time, the attack happened during the official meeting with the Finnish prime minister. The honor guard was there, and the anthem was being played. They got a close-up shot of the chancellor trembling. It overshadows all of the other news of the day. Every newspaper is writing about that tremor, they're discussing it with experts on television, and it was the first thing Merkel was asked about at the press conference.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany: “I'm all right. The process is obviously not completed yet but there is some progress. I'll have to live with it for some time.”

It happened for the first time in public when Zelensky came. It was very hot, and Merkel explained her tremor by dehydration. She said that she drank three glasses of water and felt better. But a week later, at the presidential palace, where it's cool, the attack recurred, and Merkel refused to have water. Then there were speculations that her health issues are more serious than a violation of temperature balance. Standard comments by spokespersons that the chancellor is all right didn't bring peace of mind. They say now that the cause of repeated attacks is of a psychosomatic nature. The chancellor is so afraid to have new attacks, that they happen.

Theo Koll, head of Berlin's ZDF office: “When the attack happened for the second time, we were told that these were the psychological consequences of the first incident. At that moment, the chancellor thought about what happened to her.”

There are few people in the world who live and work like Merkel. She has an exorbitant load and is always in front of cameras. Today, she's in Osaka. Then in Brussels, then in Berlin. After 3-4 hours of sleep, she's in Brussels again. This is the life of the most influential woman in the world, the leader of such an important country as Germany.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany: “In any case, I'm sure that I'm capable of doing my job.”

Health records are an absolutely confidential thing for Germans. However, this case is extraordinary. And Merkel has to convince Germans that she can do her job. However, this doesn't rule out that the attacks can recur when three factors are present: a foreign guest, the honor guard, and the national anthem.

Merkel plans to work as chancellor until the autumn of 2021. Previously, threats to those plans were of a political nature only. For example, there's a possibility of a collapse of the ruling coalition and early parliamentary elections. The state of her health is now another reason that theoretically can make the chancellor resign before that date.

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