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30 Facts About the Chancellor of Germany – Angela Merkel

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Angela Merkel, a former research scientist, is a German politician, often referred to as the “Leader of the Free World.” She is the youngest Chancellor since World War II, in the history of Germany. Here are 30 facts about the “Iron Lady”:

  1. For a record number of tenth time, Forbes named her as the “Most Powerful Woman in the World” in May, 2016. She has also been twice ranked second, after Vladimir Putin in the Forbes’s list of “The World’s Most Powerful Person,” which is considered to be the highest ranking ever achieved by a woman.
  2. In the year 2015, she was named as the Person of Year by Time’s magazine, with the cover calling her as the “Chancellor of the Free World.” Since then, she has been often described as the “Leader of the Free World.”
  3. Merkel, from the time of being the Leader of the Opposition party, has been advocating German-American friendship, and has even been in a good relation with the US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In fact, she has always been referred to as the “closest international partner” by Obama, throughout his tenure as the President.
  4. She is the only leader in the history of G20, to have attended every meeting, since the first in 2008, with the absence of Stephen Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, in the 2015 meeting. She is said to have attended a record eleven summits as of 2016 and is also expected to host the 12th summit - 2017 G20 Hamburg summit, to be held on July 7-8, 2017.
  5. Merkel is longest-serving incumbent head of government in the history of European Union, as of March 2014.
  6. In the year 2016, Timothy Garton Ash from The New York Times described her as the “Liberal West’s Last Defender,” following Donald Trump’s election to the United States presidency.
  7. She is honored with the Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the highest class of the Order.
  8. Her prominent role in the management of European as well as international financial crisis, had people referring to her as “the decider.”
  9. She was attacked by a dog in the year 1995, following which she is said to be afraid of dogs. In a 2007 press conference, Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, brought along his pet Labrador. However, claimed that he did not mean to scare her.
  10. She became the first woman leader is the history of her party Christian Democratic Union in the year 2000, in the aftermath of a scandal regarding donations that toppled Wolfgang Schäuble, making her the Secretary General.
  11. In her youth days, she was also a member of the Free German Youth movement sponsored by the Socialist Unity Party, like most others in the German Democratic Republic.
  12. She was named as the first woman Chancellor of Germany in the 2005 federal election, making her the head of a grand coalition that consists of the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and Social Democratic Party of Germany.
  13. It was in the year 1989, after the fall of Berlin Wall that Merkel joined the Democratic Awakening, which merged with the East Germany CDU the next year. However, the East Germany CDU merged with the Western CDU after reunification.
  14. Since her promotion to Minister for the Environment and Nuclear Safety in the year 1994, she was often referred by Chancellor Helmut Kohl as “mein Mädchen.”
  15. She was awarded with the President’s Medal the highest civil medal given by the State of Israel, in the year 2014.
  16. Merkel had “private and informal talks,” with the 14th Dalai Lama in the Chancellery in Berlin in the year 2007, amid China’s protests. Following this meeting, China cancelled any kind of separate talks with all the officials from Germany, including the Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries.
  17. She is the second woman to chair G8, where she played a most prominent role in the Berlin Declaration and Treaty of Lisbon negotiations.
  18. She was elected the deputy spokesperson of the pre-unification East Germany caretaker government under Lothar de Maiziere, in the first and only multi party election of the state.
  19. She was honored with Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun of Peru, which is considered to be the oldest civilian award in the Americas, with the first establishment in the year 1821. It is the highest award bestowed by the nation of Peru.
  20. Throughout her tenure as the Chancellor of Germany, she is often referred to as the de facto leader of the European Union.
  21. At the age of 23, she married Ulrich Merkel, as physics student in the year 1977, and took his surname. However, the relationship did not last long as the couple ended in divorce five years later in 1982.
  22. She was elected the President of the European Council in the year 2007, following which, her consistent priorities were to strengthen the transatlantic economic relations.
  23. She is the recipient of the international award – Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, in the year 2009, presented by the Government of India to people “for their outstanding contribution to the promotion of international understanding, goodwill and friendship among people of the world.”
  24. In the 1990 federal election that happened after the reunification, she was elected to the Bundestag for the Stralsund – Nordvorpommern – Rügen constituency, where she has won at least six federal re-elections till date.
  25. Merkel is a fervent football fan and it is even reported that she used to listen to games while in Bundestag. She has also often been to the games of the national team.
  26. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the United States, by the President Barack Obama in the year 2011.
  27. Immediately after her first election, she was appointed to serve as Minister for Women and Youth in the Cabinet under Chancellor Helmut Kohl, making her Kohl’s the youngest Cabinet Minister ever.
  28. She has been awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa, by the Comenius University in Bratislava in 2014, the University of Bern in 2015 and the Ghent University and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in the year 2017.
  29. It was in the year 2013 that the Merkel had one of the best election results since reunification for the Christian Democratic Union – coming within five seats of the first absolute majority since 1957 in Bundestag, which is considered to be one of the most decisive victories in German history.
  30. She has often been compared to the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, referring to her as “Iron Lady”, “Iron Girl”, and even “The Iron Frau.”

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Angela Merkel, Germany, Angela Merkel Facts

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