German Finance Minister commits suicide over ‘coronavirus worries’

GERMANY’S Hesse State’s Finance Minister, Thomas Schaefer, is reported to have committed suicide this weekend, after becoming ‘deeply worried’ over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

Fifty-four-year-old Schaefer, who was Hesse’s finance chief for 10 years, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution’s office believes ‘he died by suicide.’

Schaefer had been “working day and night to help companies and workers deal with the economic impact of the pandemic,” according to state premier Volker Bouffier, yesterday (Sunday).

“We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all we are immensely sad,” Bouffier said in a recorded statement. “Today, we have to assume that he was deeply worried. It’s precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him.”

Schaefer, who belonged to Merkel’s centre-right CDU party, was popular and well-respected, and was touted as a potential successor to Bouffier. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

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Pepi Sappal

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