‘Shock’ after German parliament leader dies during broadcast recording
Share article:
Share article:

‘Shock’ after German parliament leader dies during broadcast recording

Thomas Oppermann, Credit: Olaf Kosinsky/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

The sudden and “untimely” death of a leading German politician during a recording of a broadcast television programme has left the country’s political sphere in shock.

Bundestag Vice-president Thomas Oppermann has died at 66 after he fell ill and collapsed while recording a segment with public broadcaster ZDF on Sunday evening.

After his collapse, the federal parliament’s vice-president was rushed to the hospital but did not survive, the broadcaster confirmed on Monday.

Politicians in Germany have reacted with sadness to the news of Oppermann’s passing, with Chancellor Angela Merkel lauding his “outstanding” record and saying she was “shocked and saddened by [his] untimely death.”

“I have valued him for many years as a dependable and fair partner in the grand coalition,” Merkel said in a statement issued on Twitter by the federal government’s spokesperson, referring to the federal ruling coalition between her centre-right CDU party and Oppermann’s social democrat SPD.

“As vice-president of the German Bundestag, he did an outstanding service to our parliament in turbulent times,” she added.

Oppermann had served as Bundestag vice-president since 2017 and had recently announced that, after 30 years of public service, he would not be seeking reelection and would enter retirement.

After launching a career in state politics in 1980, Oppermann entered the national arena as a representative for Göttingen in the federal parliament.

Before rising to the vice-presidency, the veteran parliamentarian also served as the SPD’s leader in the Bundestag from 2013 to 2017.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...
ECDC issues threat assessment about new COVID-19 variant, WHO designates it as a variant of concern
Preliminary data on the risks of the new COVID variant of concern is high, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said late ...