File combination of photos showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on crutches, taking her seat at the opening of the exhibition "Women Write Soccer History" at the Chancellery in Berlin, April 5, 2011.[Photo/Agencies]
BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has fractured her pelvis in a cross-country skiing accident and is walking with the help of crutches, forcing her to call off some foreign visits and official appointments, her spokesman said on Monday.
Merkel fell while skiing over the Christmas vacation. What she first thought was heavy bruising turned out to be a partial fracture, meaning she must take it easy for three weeks and work from home where possible, said her spokesman Steffen Seibert.
"The chancellor is of course able to work and is in full communication," said Seibert. He added that Merkel's accident occurred "at low speed" but he declined to give further details.
The chancellor has postponed a visit to Warsaw scheduled for Wednesday this week and will not receive Luxembourg's new prime minister, Xavier Bettel, on Thursday, Seibert said.
But she will lead a cabinet meeting on Wednesday which will be the first gathering of all the ministers in the new "grand coalition" government of her conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), which was formalised last month.