German state finance minister commits suicide over COVID-19 economic fallout

Germany Hesse state finance minister, Thomas Schaefer, has committed suicide.

state premier Volker Bouffier said he apparently become “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus,
Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track, 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.

Police and prosecutors said factors, including the questioning of witnesses and their own observations at the scene, led them to conclude that Schaefer killed himself.

Hesse is home to Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders such as 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 precise 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 center-right CDU party.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *