A German state finance minister took his own life after expressing “despair” over how to handle the economic fallout from coronavirus, an official said.
Thomas Schaefer, who was the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse region, was found dead by suicide Saturday on railway tracks at Hochheim, which is near Frankfurt.
State governor Volker Bouffier said Sunday that the 54-year-old had become consumed with how to handle the coronavirus crisis sending the global markets into freefall.
He said Schaefer was particularly concerned about “whether it would be possible to succeed in fulfilling the population’s huge expectations, particularly of financial help.”
“I have to assume that these worries overwhelmed him,” Bouffier said. “He apparently couldn’t find a way out. He was in despair and left us.”
Authorities investigating Schaefer’s death said questioning witnesses led them to conclude that he died by suicide.
Schaefer was a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and had held his position for a decade.