Angela Merkel out of action for three weeks after breaking pelvis in 'low-speed' skiing accident

The German Chancellor has reportedly had to cancel meetings for the next three weeks

The new German coalition’s plans to hit the ground running in the new year were dealt an unforeseen blow on Monday with news that Chancellor Angela Merkel had fractured her pelvis in a skiing accident and had been forced to cancel meetings and visits for the next three weeks.

Ms Merkel, 59, and her husband have for several years taken Christmas breaks cross-country skiing in Engadin near St Moritz. Her holidays are hardly mentioned in the German media and take place away from the TV cameras.

On Monday, however, government spokesman Steffen Seibert had little option but to disclose that Ms Merkel, beginning her third term in office,  would be pretty much out of physical action for the next three weeks. “She has suffered a partial fracture to the left interior pelvic ring,” he told reporters.

Mr Seibert said Ms Merkel had returned from the holiday believing she had merely suffered bruising from her skiing fall. But after being examined by a doctor in Berlin she was told that she had suffered a fracture which would require “lots of lying down” for a period of up to six weeks.

In what appeared to be a reference to the life-threatening skiing accident suffered by the former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, Mr Seibert said: “We are assuming that she was travelling at low speed.”

At the time of his accident, Ms Merkel was herself among those offering support to the German national sporting hero, saying she was “absolutely distraught” at the news.

Some reports in the German media implied that Ms Merkel’s fall might have been due to her allegedly 20-year-old cross-country skis. The manufacturer recently urged her to buy a new pair and warned that after a decade of use such skis “ noticeably lose their tension”.

Ms Merkel is reported to be walking with the aid of crutches. She has had to cancel a visit to Poland and an audience with Xavier Bettel, the new prime minister of Luxembourg.

Her injury has also obliged Ms Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Party to postpone a key leadership meeting which had been planned for the weekend.

Mr Seibert said the Chancellor would not have to spend time in hospital but would  conduct much of her business on the phone from home. He said she would be attending a few engagements at her Berlin office and would chair Wednesday’s regular Cabinet meeting in person.

Ms Merkel’s accident is another false start for her only recently formed “grand coalition” of conservative Christian Democrats and left-of-centre Social Democrats. The new government was sworn in in December after months of fraught negotiations, the longest in post-war German history.

The two parties in the coalition have been at loggerheads over the issue of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration into Germany since late last year. The Bavarian wing of Ms Merkel’s party has demanded strict control and even fingerprinting of new arrivals from these counties. The Social Democrats are firmly against the idea.

Additional reporting by Adam Withnall

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world