7 Jan 2014

Merkel injured in skiing accident

6:16 am on 7 January 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has fractured her pelvis in a cross-country skiing accident, forcing her to call off some foreign visits and official appointments.

Angela Merkel.

Angela Merkel. Photo: AFP

The German leader fell while skiing in Switzerland over the Christmas holidays and is walking on crutches after the accident. The 59-year-old conservative chancellor is a keen hiker who prefers cross-country to downhill skiing.

Her spokesperson said the accident had occurred "at low speed" but what had at first seemed to be heavy bruising turned out to be a partial fracture. She must take it easy for three weeks and work from home where possible.

A government spokesperson said Ms Merkel is in full communication but some official appointments have had to be cancelled. She has postponed a visit to Warsaw scheduled for Wednesday and a meeting in Berlin with Luxembourg's new prime minister, but will lead her first cabinet meeting of 2014 on Wednesday.

Ms Merkel began her third term last month after sealing a "grand coalition" with the centre-left Social Democrats.

Her government has got off to a rocky start, Reuters reports. The right and left have clashed over how quickly to implement policies from their coalition deal, including a minimum wage, a highway toll and a data protection law.