Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse State, has reportedly committed suicide apparently after becoming “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout from the novel Coronavirus.
Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday, Volker Bouffier, the state premier, said Sunday.
The Wiesbaden prosecution’s office said they believe he died by suicide.
“We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all, we are immensely sad.
“Today we have to assume that he was deeply worried.
“It’s precise during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him,” Bouffier, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in a recorded statement.
Hesse is home to Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, where major lenders like Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have their headquarters. The European Central Bank is also located in Frankfurt.
Schaefer, a popular figure, had long been touted as a possible successor to Bouffier.
Like Bouffier, Schaefer belonged to Merkel’s centre-right CDU party.
He left behind a wife and two children.