Thomas Schäfer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution’s office said they believe he died by suicide.
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.
“We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all we are immensely sad. Today we have to assume that he was deeply worried. “It’s precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him,”
said Bouffier, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A visibly shaken Bouffier recalled that Schaefer, who was Hesse’s finance chief for 10 years, had been working “day and night” to help companies and workers deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.