In protocol breach, Merkel sits to welcome Danish PM after shaking bouts


German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen with military honours at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel sat down at a ceremony to welcome Denmark’s prime minister on Thursday, a day after she shook visibly when standing to receive Finland’s premier – her third bout of shaking in three weeks.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen sat next to Merkel at the welcoming with military honours on a warm day in Berlin before the two women walked to the chancellery. Merkel, showing no sign of shaking, smiled broadly.

After meeting Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne on Wednesday, Merkel said she was “working through” a bout of shaking that first occurred in mid-June, but insisted she was fine and that “just as it happened one day, so it will disappear”.

The chancellor, 64 and in office since 2005, has no history of serious health issues. Her office has given no explanation for the shaking episodes. On Wednesday, she gave no details of any medical advice or treatment she has been given.

Medical experts have played down speculation the shaking episodes, saying there are multiple potential causes of tremor.

Merkel is renowned for her work ethic and has a reputation for outlasting other leaders at EU summits with her ability to focus on the details of complex discussions deep into the night.

In November 2016, when announcing that she would seek a fourth term as chancellor, Merkel said: “It is a decision not just for an election campaign but about the next four years … if health allows it.”

Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michelle Martin

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