Angela Merkel, 65, falls to the floor as she trips over on stage, then jokes ‘next time I’ll use the stairs’ – months after she was forced to abandon standing for national anthems
- Merkel fell over as she took to the podium at a business event in Berlin last night
- The 65-year-old said she had failed to notice the staircase leading to the stage
- Last summer she suffered a series of episodes of uncontrollable public shaking
German chancellor Angela Merkel tripped over as she made her way to a stage last night – joking that she would ‘take the stairs next time’ after she recovered her balance.
Merkel, who was forced to sit down during national anthems after a series of health scares over the summer, fell over as she took to the podium at a business event in Berlin on Wednesday evening.
The 65-year-old said she had failed to notice the staircase leading up to the stage and lost her balance as she tried to climb up.
‘I didn’t see the stairs, I’ll take them next time,’ she joked once she was upright again.
Merkel was speaking last night to the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, a business group headquartered in Berlin.
The long-serving chancellor has promised to step down by the time of the next election in 2021 but the succession remains open.
The issue came into sharper focus over the summer when Merkel suffered three episodes of public shaking within weeks.
The first fears were sparked on June 18 when Merkel was seen shaking while meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy – which she attributed to being dehydrated.
Nine days later, her arms and body could be seen noticeably trembling as she stood behind Germany’s figurehead president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The problem surfaced for a third time on July 10 when Merkel trembled while national anthems were being played during a visit by Finland’s prime minister.
Merkel insisted she was fine, but had to stop standing up during national anthems.
Trip: German chancellor Angela Merkel (wearing red) fell over as she took to the podium at a business event in Berlin on Wednesday evening
Fall: Merkel said she had failed to notice the stairs leading up to the stage, tripping over as she went to deliver her speech
Recovery: Once she was back on her feet, Merkel joked to her audience of business leaders that she would ‘take the stairs next time’
The 65-year-old has no history of serious health issues and has held the chancellorship since 2005.
Last year she stood down as party chair in favour of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, paving the way for AKK – she is widely known – to take the top job.
However, Kramp-Karrenbauer has seen her popularity slide after a series of gaffes over the last year.
In May she faced a backlash after appearing to call for online censorship in response to a viral YouTube video which took aim at her party.
She also drew sharp criticism from her Social Democrat coalition partners for poking fun at transgender people in a light-hearted carnival speech.
June 18: In Merkel’s first episode of public shaking, she was seen trembling while standing next to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky
June 27: Merkel grips her arms as she trembles once again while standing next to Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at an event in Berlin
July 10: The shaking problem surfaced a third time when Merkel trembled while national anthems were being played during a visit by Finland’s prime minister