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Finance Minister of German State deeply worried about pending financial disaster from Corona virus commits suicide. “For him there was no way out,” leaves wife and two children-AFP, dw.com

March 30, 2020

Schäfer had been living under considerable worry and stress because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. “His main concern was whether he could manage to fulfill the huge expectations of the population, especially in terms of financial aid,” Bouffier said on Sunday. “For him, there was clearly no way out. He was disappointed and so he had to leave us. That has shocked us, has shocked me.”.”…Seven days ago the German chancellor went into quarantine after a doctor who gave her a vaccine tested positive for the virus. The country has banned public meetings of more than two people and imposed tight border restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the outbreak.”

3/29/20, German minister commits suicide after ‘coronavirus crisis worries’, AFP via AsiaOne, Frankfurt

“Mr Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state, has committed suicide apparently after becoming “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, state premier Volker Bouffier said on Sunday (March 29).

Mr 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,” Mr 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 Mr Bouffier recalled that Mr 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 Mr 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, Mr Schaefer had long been touted as a possible successor to Mr Bouffier.

Like Mr Bouffier, Mr Schaefer belonged to Dr Merkel’s centre-right CDU party.

He leaves behind a wife and two children.”...Schafer image: AFP…Map, shutterstock

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Additional source:

3/29/20, German state finance minister Thomas Schäfer found dead.” dw.com

“Police suspect Thomas Schäfer died by suicide after his body was found on train tracks near Wiesbaden. He was the finance minister for the state of Hesse, where Germany’s financial center Frankfurt lies.

“The body of a man identified as Thomas Schäfer, the finance minister of the German state of Hesse, was found on a high-speed train line in the town of Hochheim between Frankfurt and Mainz, police confirmed Saturday.

The presence of a body on the tracks was first reported by witnesses to paramedics, who were unable to initially identify the remains due to the extent of the injuries.

Investigators said an investigation on the scene confirmed the identity of the man as Schäfer and that the death was likely a suicide. Police did not immediately release further details of the case.

The politician apparently left a note before taking his own life, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing sources close to the investigation. The note, according to the report, referenced Schäfer’s reasons for taking the step.

According to media in the state of Hesse, the 54-year-old regularly appeared in public in recent days, for example, to inform the public about financial assistance during the coronavirus crisis.

Schäfer had “considerable worries” over COVID-19

Schäfer was a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU). He had been active in Hessian state politics for more than two decades and was finance minister for almost 10 years.

Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt, lies in Hesse and is the state’s biggest city.

Schäfer had been widely expected to succeed state premier, Volker Bouffier, if he decided not to stand for re-election in 2023.

In a statement, Bouffier said that the state’s leadership has received the news with “sadness and disbelief.”

Bouffier also said that Schäfer had been living under considerable worry and stress because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“His main concern was whether he could manage to fulfill the huge expectations of the population, especially in terms of financial aid,” Bouffier said on Sunday. “For him, there was clearly no way out. He was disappointed and so he had to leave us. That has shocked us, has shocked me.”

“Our sincere condolences go to his closest relatives,” he added.

Outgoing CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said Schäfer’s sudden death “shocked me, shocked all of us” in the party. “It has hit us and left us sad and stunned,” she wrote on Twitter.

One of the candidates to succeed Kramp-Karrenbauer as leader of the party, Friedrich Merz, and possible successor to Merkel as chancellor wrote on Twitter about his shock at the death.

“News about the sudden death of Thomas Shäfer has deeply shaken me,” Merz wrote on Twitter. As a personal and politician he was one of our best – this is a difficult loss. We will mourn him with his wife and children.”

Lawmakers from other parties also paid tribute to Schäfer.

Left party member of the Bundestag Fabio De Masi wrote on Twitter “We often no longer recognize politicians as people or the burdens they carry away from politics.”

Green politician Kordula Schulz-Asch wrote “I am stunned by the death of Thomas Schäfer. My deepest condolences and thoughts to his family at this time.”

Schäfer leaves behind a wife and two children.”...Schafer image: AFP…Map, shutterstock

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