Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the architect of German reunification, has been hospitalised but is doing well “under the circumstances”, his office said in a statement on Tuesday following media reports about his ill health.
Citing unnamed sources, German gossip magazine Bunte reported earlier on Tuesday that the 85-year-old conservative was in intensive care at a clinic in Heidelberg after undergoing surgery on his intestine.
Kohl’s office, however, released a statement shortly afterward saying that, "under the circumstances, Dr. Helmut Kohl is doing well".
The statement said that Kohl had undergone surgery on his hip in early May but that he then needed another operation that prolonged his time in hospital.
Germany’s longest serving post-war chancellor from 1982-1998, Kohl was one of Europe’s towering leaders in the second half of the 20th century but he has been physically frail for years and is usually seen in a wheelchair.
At home he is celebrated as the father of German reunification. He also pushed through the introduction of the euro currency along with his close ally, French president François Mitterand.
In recent years Kohl has espoused the benefits of closer European integration and voiced doubts about the way his former protégé, Chancellor Angela Merkel, has dealt with the eurozone debt crisis.
His reputation was marred by a financing scandal in his party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which came to light after he left office.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)
Date created : 2015-06-02