German chancellor Angela Merkel was seen shaking in public for the third time in just over three weeks, raising renewed fears about the state of her health.
Ms Merkel appeared to experience another trembling fit while receiving the Finnish prime minister Antti Rinne in Berlin on Wednesday.
She later said she was “very well” and there was “no need to worry”, blaming it on residual anxiety over a first bout of shaking on June 18. “It’ll go away one day just as it arrived,” she said.
Ulrike Demmer, Ms Merkel’s spokeswoman, said the chancellor had met Mr Rinne as planned and would appear at a press conference with him later. “The chancellor has kept all her appointments over the last three weeks and is in good form,” she said.
Video footage of the official reception for Mr Rinne showed Ms Merkel shaking as the German national anthem was played, although it appeared to be less serious than the first attack on June 18, which occurred when she received the new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
At the time she put it down to the heat — temperatures in Berlin were at nearly 40C — and dehydration. The weather in the capital was much cooler on Wednesday.
She was also seen to tremble during a swearing-in ceremony for Germany’s justice minister, Christine Lambrecht, on June 27. She clasped her arms to control the shaking, but rejected a glass of water offered to her by an official.
Asked about the state of her health on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan, she refused to say whether she had consulted a doctor about the trembling fits, saying only: “I have nothing special to report. I feel fine.”
Ms Merkel, a keen walker, has been chancellor since 2005 and has rarely suffered any illnesses while in office. If she remains in power until the end of the current parliament she will match the record set by Helmut Kohl, who was chancellor for 16 years.
However, she took the first step towards relinquishing power last year when she stood down as leader of the Christian Democratic Union after 18 years. She was succeeded by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a woman who is widely seen as her ideological heir.
Ms Merkel’s trembling fits over the past three weeks have made international headlines. But the Chancellery has been silent about the cause of the attacks.
Ms Demmer was peppered with questions by German reporters on Wednesday as to whether Ms Merkel would receive a medical examination, and why the government was refusing to provide any information on the state of her health. She said only that she had “nothing to add”.