Germany finance official’s death linked to coronavirus outbreak

A German finance minister killed himself after despairing over the coronavirus fallout, his colleague claimed.

The body of 54-year-old Thomas Schaefer, the state finance minister of Germany’s Hesse region, was found on the train tracks at Hochheim, near Frankfurt.

A police investigation concluded that Schaeffer killed himself.

Schaefer had served as Hesse’s state finance minister for a decade, and he was a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

State governor Volker Bouffier speculated that Schaefer’s death was caused by stress related to the handling of the coronavirus crisis.

“I have to assume these worries overwhelmed him,” Bouffier said.

He further explained that Schaefer was concerned about “whether it would be possible to succeed in fulfilling the population’s huge expectations, particularly of financial help.”

Germany’s upper house of Parliament approved a €750 billion ($814 billion) aid package to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Despite a high number of infections, Germany has suffered relatively few deaths.