A statement released by Premier Volker Bouffier on Sunday informed that the German finance minister Thomas Schaefer had committed suicide after becoming deeply worried about the economic fallout from coronavirus.
German Finance Minister Thomas Schaefer Found Dead
Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state was found dead near a high-speed intercity express (ICE) train line in the town Hochheim between Frankfurt and Mainz on Saturday.
The presence of the body was first reported on tracks by paramedics. The body was not identifiable firstly because of extent of injuries. Later, The Wiesbaden investigators confirmed the dead man as Schaefer and stated that they believe he committed a suicide.
According to media reports the politician left a note before taking his own life. Through this note he referred to reason for taking the steps. The content of note is not released yet.
According to state of Hesse media the German finance minister Thomas Schaefer was extremely anxious and appeared regularly on the need of optimism during the financial crisis because of coronavirus pandemic. Recently, he had helped engineer financial rescue efforts for large and small business in Hesse.
State Premier Bouffier was close to tears in his statement. He expressed in his trembling voice that state’s leadership had received the news with sadness and disbelief. He added that he was exactly that kind of person they need in difficult time like these. Thomas Schaefer has left behind a wife and two children.
The 54-year-old minister was the member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU). He was Finance Chief for almost 10 years and had been active in Hessian State politics for more than 20 years.
Thomas Schaefer was considered as the top candidate for the governor of Hesse, the one of the most important and wealthiest state. He had been widely expected to succeed state premier Volker Bouffier.
The State of Hesse German Financial capital
The state of Hesse is the home of Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders including European Central Bank, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters.
Germany has been hit so hard by novel coronavirus with the fifth largest number of people infected worldwide. Recently Germany faced criticism from Italy and European Union for refusing to send ventilators to Italy. In the meantime, Germany has tried to repair the damage with its close EU partners by taking 70 critical patients from Italy and 30 from France.