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German state minister commits suicide after ‘virus crisis worries’

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Thomas Schaefer had been Hesse's finance chief for 10 years and was said to be concerned about the Covid-19 outbreak. — AFP pic

FRANKFURT, March 29 — Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state, has committed suicide apparently after becoming “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, state premier Volker Bouffier said today.

Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track yesterday. 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,” Bouffier 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.

A visibly shaken Bouffi

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