German minister kills himself over 'coronavirus crisis worries'

2020-03-29 15:19
Police officers wear face masks as they surround a spontaneous rally in Berlin's Kreuzberg district on March 28, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

Police officers wear face masks as they surround a spontaneous rally in Berlin's Kreuzberg district on March 28, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. (David Gannon, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany's Hesse state, killed himself apparently after becoming "deeply worried" over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, state premier Volker Bouffier said on Sunday.

Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution's office said they believe he died by suicide.

"We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all we are immensely sad," Bouffier said in a recorded statement.

Hesse is home to Germany's financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders like Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters. The European Central Bank is also located in Frankfurt.

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.

He leaves behind a wife and two children.


Read more on:    germany  |  coronavirus
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.