Angela Merkel dismisses health concerns after shaking visibly during visit of new Ukrainian president

Jorg Luyken

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has brushed aside concerns for her health after she started to tremble convulsively during a welcoming ceremony for the Ukrainian president in Berlin on Tuesday. 

Video footage shows Mrs Merkel desperately trying to stop herself from shaking as she stands for the German national anthem during a military ceremony near the Chancellery.

The 64 year old can be seen repeatedly clasping her hands in an attempt to maintain composure while her whole body shakes violently.

But the worrying episode subsided relatively quickly.

Shortly afterwards, Mrs Merkel was seen walking away unaided from the ceremony with Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Mrs Merkel, who is set to stand down as German leader at the end of the current parliament in 2021, does not have any known health problems.

Throughout her career she has gained a reputation for rarely missing a day of work due to ill health. 

Colleagues often comment approvingly on her ability to shrug off the stresses of Germany's highest office, which she has held for 14 years.  

Speaking at a press conference after her scheduled meeting with Mr Zelenskiy, the Chancellor brushed aside any fears about her health.

“I’ve drunk three glasses of water in the meantime, clearly that was what caused it. And in that respect I’m doing much better,” she said.

The German capital has been sweltering under a sustained heat wave in recent weeks, with temperatures soaring to over 30 centigrade on Tuesday. Mr Zelenskiy also assured journalists that Mrs Merkel had nothing to worry about with him standing by her side.

“Believe me, she was in full safety,” he stated.

Angela Merkel and Ukraine's new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy held a press conference after the incident Credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

German media reports say that this is not the first time Mrs Merkel has shaken convulsively in tough summer temperatures.

During a state visit to Mexico several years ago, the Chancellor also started to tremble. Her office said on that occasion too that she had become dehydrated in the heat.

A doctor interviewed by Focus Online said that Mrs Merkel’s shakes seemed to be genuinely caused by a lack of water. "It's very hot in Berlin right now,” Dr Jakob Berger said.

“And a woman like Angela Merkel certainly also has a rather stressful lifestyle."

He ruled out Parkinsons, saying the trembles were too exaggerated to resemble that degenerative disorder.

On social media, Mrs Merkel’s critics on the far-Right of the political spectrum were quick to jump on the fact that she had shuddered during the national anthem.

“It must be hard to stand still while the national anthem of a country is played which you hate above all else,” one Twitter user wrote.

Mrs Merkel has become a figure of loathing for German nationalists due to the fact that she kept the country’s borders open during the migrant crisis of 2015, a decision that led to hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving in Germany.

Ever since, wild conspiracy theories have been spread online claiming that the Chancellor is engaged in a deliberate policy of population exchange.

Germany’s national anthem is just as politicised on the Left, due to what many see as the overly nationalistic tone of its verses.

One Twitter user commented snarkily that “Parkinsons can be caused by anger, anger at the German national anthem.”

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.