German Minister Kills Self, Allegedly Over Coronavirus Concerns

Thomas Schafer belonged to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU). He is survived by his wife and two children.

Updated30 Mar 2020, 02:27 AM IST
1 min read

Thomas Schafer, 54, the Finance Minister of the German state of Hesse, has allegedly died by suicide after his body was found on a high-speed train line in the town of Hoccheim, reports DW. The German news agency also confirmed that Schafer was in “despair about the scale of the state response required to tackle the coronavirus crisis,” citing initial investigations.

In a statement, the Chief Premier of Hesse, Volker Bouffier said, as reported by The Times of India, citing AFP

“We are in shock, we are in disbelief, and above all we are immensely sad. Today we have to assume that he was deeply worried.”

A visibly shaken Bouffier recalled that Schaefer, who was Hesse's finance chief for 10 years, had been working "day and night" to help companies and workers deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.

"Today we have to assume that he was deeply worried," said Bouffier, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"It's precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him," he added.

Popular and well-respected, Schaefer had long been touted as a possible successor to Bouffier.

Like Bouffier, Schaefer belonged to Merkel's centre-right CDU party.

Hesse is the German state which is home to Frankfurt, considered to be the financial capital of Germany.

Schafer belonged to Angela Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU). He is survived by his wife and two children.

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Published: 29 Mar 2020, 03:43 PM IST
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