In this file picture taken April 24, 2019 Thomas Schäfer (CDU), Minister of Finance of Hesse, comments on the status of the evaluation of the "Panama Papers" at a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany.(Andreas Arnold/AP)
A German finance minister is believed to have killed himself amid concerns about the coronavirus’ effect on his state’s economy.
The body of Thomas Schäfer, from the central German state Hesse, was found on railroad tracks near Frankfurt over the weekend, according to DW News.
Police reportedly believe suicide was to blame for the 54-year-old finance expert’s death. German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung claims a suicide note was left behind.
The state’s premier Volker Bouffier said Schäfer, who had been the finance minister for nearly a decade, was worried about Hesse’s ability to react to the economic devastation felt from the coronavirus.
“His main concern was whether he could manage to fulfill the huge expectations of the population, especially in terms of financial aid," Bouffier said on Sunday. "For him, there was clearly no way out. He was disappointed and so he had to leave us. That has shocked us, has shocked me.”
NDTV reports the finance minister had a wife and two children.
Schäfer, like Chancellor Angela Merkel, was a member of Germany’s CDU party.
Multi-national financial institutions including Deutsche Bank are headquartered in the banking city of Frankfurt, which is in Hesse.