Angela Merkel, the German politician with a doctorate in physical chemistry is considered the most powerful woman on the planet.
In May 2016, Merkel was named the most powerful woman in the world for a record tenth time by Forbes.
In December 2015, Angela Merkel was named as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, with the magazine’s cover declaring her to be the “Chancellor of the Free World.”
Angela Merkel is Germany’s first female political leader and famously left many men behind her on the way up.
Angela Merkel played a crucial role in managing the financial crisis at the European and international level, and she has been referred to as “the decider.”
Angela Merkel is a German politician and the Chancellor of Germany. She is also the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Angela Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989. In 1990, Angela Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and has been reelected ever since.
Merkel was appointed as the Minister for Women and Youth in the federal government under Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1991, and became the Minister for the Environment in 1994.
Angela Merkel has transformed German politics since being voted into office in 2005. In 2007, Angela Merkel was President of the European Council and chaired the G8, the second woman to do so.
She is sometimes referred to as the de-facto leader of Europe or “the decider”. The steady hand she showed at a time of crisis saw her win praise and secured her huge support in Germany. Without the crisis she might have been just like any other leader. Instead, the crisis has come to define her tenure.
Decisions related to Economy
While most other European leaders were finished off by the financial crisis, Merkel has blossomed during it. She adroitly fended off a long-term recession in Germany at the time the global economic crisis hit by introducing economic stimulus packages and shortening working hours, whereby workers worked less but had their earnings topped up by the government rather than business.
As a result, Germany flourished in the crisis (helped also by being able to take advantage of other favourable conditions such as low interest on bonds and Germany’s strong – some would say too strong – position as an exporter).
Succeeding in a male-oriented party
Angela Merkel has changed not only the party but arguably also German society. She is Germany’s first female political leader and famously left many men behind her on the way up. Merkel helped turn the deeply traditional party into “one of the pillars of the new German consensus”, according to the European council on foreign relations. This has in turn resulted in new policy direction on everything from energy reform to family and women’s rights – including the recent decision to introduce female quotas into the boardroom.
Very soon after the Fukushima disaster, Merkel made the surprise announcement that she would shut eight of Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors and that the others would be phased out by 2022. The exit was part of a long-term transition to alternative energy sources – the so-called “Energiewende” – and won Merkel considerable support from across the spectrum and boosted Germany’s standing as a world-leader in energy reform in an effort to tackle global warming.
While it has been driven by her coalition partners, the Social Democrats, it is still considered to be to Merkel’s credit that a minimum wage has been introduced on her watch, following years of campaigning in an effort to alleviate social injustice. The €8.50-an-hour (£7-an-hour) rate was introduced on 1 January 2015 and will, say its supporters, help tackle growing social divisions and deal with increasing wage inequality. It is also aimed at boosting the wages of those who have effectively endured a pay freeze as employers argued low wages were necessary for Germany’s companies to maintain their competitive edge.