The minister was reportedly found dead near a railway track on Saturday, stunning many people.
It has been reported that Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state, has committed suicide apparently.
The minister reportedly killed himself after becoming “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, state premier Volker Bouffier said Sunday.
According to the Agence France Presse, AFP, Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution’s office said they believe he died by suicide.
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.
A visibly shaken Bouffier recalled that Schaefer, who was Hesse’s finance chief for 10 years, had been working “day and night” to help companies and workers deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.
“It’s precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him,” he added.
Popular and well-respected, Schaefer had long been touted as a possible successor to Bouffier.
Like Bouffier, Schaefer belonged to Merkel’s centre-right CDU party.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.