The finance minister of the regional state of Germany’s financial centre Frankfurt has committed suicide, police and the public prosecutor’s office said in a joint statement on Saturday.
Thomas Schaefer, who had led the finance ministry of Hesse for almost ten years, was found dead near Frankfurt, according to a police investigation.
The governor of Hesse state Volker Bouffier said he had killed himself because he was in despair about the financial crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic even though Schaefer had worked hard to organise stimulus support measures for businesses in the state, which also includes Germany’s financial capital of Frankfurt and the country’s largest airport.
“His main fear was whether he could manage to meet the public’s enormous expectations – especially as far as the state’s financial rescue efforts are concerned,” said Bouffier. “I have to assume that those fears just overwhelmed him. He evidently saw no way out. He was distraught and left us.”
Schaefer, 54, had been widely expected to succeed Hesse’s prime minister, if Bouffier decided not to stand for re-election in 2023.
“He was exactly the kind of person we need in difficult times like this,” Bouffier said.
Germany has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with the fifth largest number of people worldwide infected. A total of 58,247 cases have been confirmed with the coronavirus and 455 have died.
Source : SCMP