In Germany, people were shocked at the sudden death of the Finance Minister of the state of Hesse. The remains of 54-year-old Thomas Schäfer (CDU) were found yesterday morning near Wiesbaden. Everything indicates an act of desperation.
“On the basis of the situation and the investigation on the spot, interrogation of numerous witnesses and further investigation, we must assume suicide,” according to a statement from the police and justice department in Wiesbaden last night. Schäfer’s remains were found yesterday morning around 10.20 a.m. at Hochheim am Main.
The death of Thomas Schäfer was reacted to with dismay both in the Land and abroad. He was a member of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Chancellor Angel Merkel. Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker Bouffier gave a short speech in the state chancellery this morning. He declared to be ‘shocked, astonished, and intensely sad’ and expressed his condolences to Schäfer’s wife and two children.
His death means a great loss to the state of Hesse. “We just needed him during this difficult time,” said Bouffier. “In such a crisis, caution and decisiveness are essential. Thomas Schäfer stood for both.”
According to the Prime Minister, Thomas Schäfer, as Minister of Finance, was deeply concerned about how to deal with the Corona crisis. “Especially about whether it will be possible to meet the enormous expectations of the population, especially concerning financial aid,” said Bouffier. “I have to assume that these concerns overwhelmed him. Clearly unable to find a way out, he was desperate and left us. That shocks us, and it shocks me.”
Thomas appeared regularly in public last week, including to provide information on immediate financial support from the state of Hesse to companies affected by the Corona crisis. He attended a parliamentary session on Tuesday.
Thomas Schäfer was a state finance minister for nearly ten years, making him one of the most experienced cabinet members. He has repeatedly acted as a possible successor to Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU).