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Angela Merkel: The Chancellor of Europe?
For the eighth time since 2006, Forbes placed Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel at the top of its annual The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list. No one had foreseen that this quiet and self-composed former chemist would become the longest-serving elected head of state in the EU. Now, it’s difficult to imagine Europe without her.
Merkel is Germany’s first female chancellor and has been reelected to the post twice. Although each term has been rough sailing, Merkel’s steady hand has earned her extraordinary domestic approval ratings of 75 percent on average. The U.S. subprime mortgage crisis rocked the world’s economy during her inaugural term, and since her second term, Merkel has been absorbed in managing the European debt crisis. With the full weight of Germany’s staunch economy behind her, Merkel has emerged as the crucial figure in keeping the euro afloat. While the PIIGS nations floundered on the brink of bankruptcy, many European leaders deferred to Merkel as "the decider" regarding their collective fate.
Her third term has been largely colored by the possibility of Grexit, as well as intensive diplomatic measures aimed at curbing Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The incursion enraged the normally dispassionate Merkel who, having grown up in oppressive East Germany, highly values liberty. In a world where national economies are closely intertwined and Russia remains an important trade partner, Merkel has had to play the reassuring but disciplinary mother to Putin’s childlike tantrums.
自 2006 年以來，《富比士》第八度將德國總理安格拉．梅克爾列為年度「全球百大最有權力女性」的榜首。沒有人預見這位冷靜沉著的前化學家會成為歐盟裡在任時間最長的國家領袖。現在，已經很難想像沒有她的歐洲會是什麼模樣。