News |

German Chancellor Merkel seen shaking during visit with Finnish PM

Questions over Angela Merkel's health overshadowed Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne's arrival to Berlin on Wednesday.

Antti Rinne ja Angela Merkel tapaavat Berliinissä.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne in Berlin on Wednesday. Image: Tobias Schwarz / AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was again seen trembling uncontrollably on Wednesday, as she received Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne at an official ceremony in Berlin.

Wednesday's incident marked the third time in as many weeks she was seen shaking at public events, sparking concerns about the world's most powerful woman's health.

Merkel has previously dismissed those concerns, at least once attributing her tremors to the effects of dehydration.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Merkel told reporters she feels fine.

"I feel very well. No need to worry," she said.

Merkel opened the press conference by congratulating Finland for its EU presidency role, a six-month stint which began at the beginning of this month.

"We want to work closely with Finland. We want Finland to be able to help solve many problems during its presidency, because then there will be less that we will have to solve when we take up the presidency next year," Merkel quipped.

As far as the leaders' meeting, Finland's State Under-Secretary for European Affairs, Jari Luoto, said Rinne and Merkel had many issues to discuss.

The two leaders have met several times at various meetings but Wednesday marked the first time the pair met one-on-one.

Rinne has said that Finland's main goal during its EU presidency is for the Union to commit to climate neutrality by the year 2050.

It is widely believed that Rinne will get support from Germany on Finland's climate policy issues and has made it clear it wants to discuss concrete measures with other countries to address climate change.

Story continues after video.

Video: Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Merkel was seen shaking as she greeted Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne

Finland and Germany share similar positions on a number of other issues, as well.

During its six-month presidency, Finland is expected to guide negotiations on the EU's five-year budget for 2021-2027, but EU-wide agreement on the matter will likely be finalised during Germany's EU presidency, which begins in the autumn of 2020.

Both Finland and Germany also share the opinion that the levels of member states' financial support from the Union should be tied to how well they follow the rule of law.

This position tends to irritate Poland, Hungary and Romania, countries which have been known to falter in terms of following the law and are also major recipients of cohesion funding from the EU.

Cohesion funds are aimed at member states whose per capita gross national income is below 90 percent of the EU average.

Rinne and Merkel were also expected to discuss Brexit, Russia and Ukraine, as well as transatlantic relations.

The topic of migration policy was also on the leaders' meeting agenda.

At the moment, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as North Macedonia and Albania have filed applications for EU membership.

Rinne has said that those countries' success in becoming members depends on how well the rule of law is followed.

Latest in: News


Our picks