Biography Of Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel- 13angle.com

Introduction

  • Angela Dorothea Merkel born on July 17, 1954, (in Hamburg, West Germany), is a German politician and scientist who served as the chancellor of Germany from the year 2005 to 2021, the first woman to hold this office. She is also the first German leader who grew up in the communist East. In 2007, Merkel was also President of the European Council and chair of the G8. She played a central role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration. In domestic policy, health care reforms and problems concerning future energy development were the major issues of her tenure.

  • Merkel was considered by Forbes Magazine to be the “most powerful woman in the world at the present time.” In 2007 she became the second woman to chair the G8 after Margaret Thatcher. In 2008 Merkel received the Charlemagne Prize “for her work to reform the European Union”: the prize was presented by Nicolas Sarkozy.

Scientist Career

  • Before entering politics in 1989 she earned a doctorate in quantum chemistry and worked as a research scientist. She published articles as author and co-author in scientific journals. She was Minister for Women and Youth in Helmut Kohl’s 3rd cabinet, then Minister for the Environment and Reactor Safety. As the first female leader of the world’s third-largest economic power, Merkel secured her place in posterity.

Personal Life

Personal life of Angela Merkel- 13angle.com
  • In 1954, her father Horst Kasner, a Lutheran pastor, accepted a pastorship at a church in the village of Quitzow in East Germany. Her mother Herlind was a teacher of Latin and English. In 1957, four years before the Berlin Wall was erected, the family moved to Templin, about 50 miles north of Berlin. Angela Merkel, along with her brother Marcus and her sister Irene, thus grew up in the socialist German Democratic Republic.

  • Merkel attended school in Templin and studied physics at the University of Leipzig, graduating in 1978. She later earned her doctorate in quantum chemistry and pursued research in that field. She also received an award for outstanding proficiency in Russian, a required language in the East German education system.

  • In 1977 Angela Kasner married Ulrich Merkel, a physics student she had met during an exchange trip to Moscow and Leningrad, but they divorced in 1982. Her second and current husband is chemistry professor Joachim Sauer. They have no children, but Sauer has two grown sons from a previous marriage.

Political Positions

  • After the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Merkel got involved in politics, getting elected to the East German caretaker government. Following reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag (German parliament). Later, Chancellor Helmut Kohl took Merkel under his wing and she rose rapidly in the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) party. After the CDU/CSU candidate failed to defeat Chancellor Gerhard Schroder (SPD, Social Democrats) in the 2002 election, Merkel became the leader of the opposition in the Bundestag.

  • In the September 2005 national election, the CDU/CSU won by a slight margin, but neither the SPD nor the CDU (Merkel) had a majority. In the end, after protracted negotiations, Merkel became chancellor under a “Grand Coalition” deal. She was sworn into office on November 22, 2005, the first female ever to hold that office. She ultimately served as the chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021. During her 16 years as chancellor, Merkel was often referred to as the de facto leader of the European Union and the most powerful woman in the world.

  • Angela Merkel was re-elected in 2009, 2013, and 2017, when she began serving her fourth term as German chancellor. The growing European refugee problem in 2015, with Syrian and other Muslim refugees flooding into Europe, was one of Merkel’s greatest challenges since she first came into office. Nevertheless, she and her CDU/CSU party were once again elected to hold Germany’s highest office in 2017, although with a smaller margin than in the previous elections.

Political Positions of Angela Merkel- 13angle.com
  • In 2014 Merkel had become the longest-serving incumbent head of government in the EU. In October 2018, Angela Merkel announced that she would stand down as leader of the CDU at the party convention, and would not seek a fifth term as chancellor in the 2021 federal elections.

  • The election results of 26 September 2021 proved inconclusive. Although the SPD party won the most votes, no single party had the required majority. This necessitated the long negotiations among the various parties to form a coalition government (SPD, the Greens, and FDP). On 23 November 2021 a new so-called “traffic light coalition” (red, green, yellow, the colors of the three parties involved) was announced, with Olaf Scholz (SPD) nominated to succeed Merkel. Merkel continued to serve as chancellor in a caretaker capacity until 8 December 2021, when Scholz was officially sworn in.

Political Career

Political Career of Angela Merkel- 13angle.com
  • In an era plagued by erratic and swaggering strongmen like Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Narendra Modi, and Jair Bolsonaro, Merkel provided a model of rational, steadfast leadership. Indeed, in the early years of the Trump presidency, political observers on both sides of the Atlantic were fond of dubbing her the new “leader of the free world.” Merkel always rejected that honor, even though she has undeniably been the de facto leader of the EU.

  • Many glowing retrospectives on Merkel’s tenure depict her as Europe’s savior—the steady and reliable pair of hands that steered the EU through a series of unprecedented crises. They recount her role over the past decade. When the eurozone debt crisis threatened to overwhelm EU institutions, Merkel overcame domestic resistance to negotiate bailouts for the hardest-hit eurozone members, provided political backing for massive European Central Bank liquidity injections, and paved the way for a myriad of new EU institutions, including a sweeping banking union. When Vladimir Putin’s Russia annexed Crimea and intervened militarily in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, she kept her cool and took the lead in negotiating the agreements. During the refugee crisis in the summer of 2015, she showed her humanity—at considerable political cost—by letting more than 1 million mostly Syrian refugees into Germany. Merkel also helped the EU member states maintain a united front during the Brexit negotiations. She insisted on the sanctity and indivisibility of the four freedoms of movement—in goods, services, capital, and people—that define the EU single market. And during the spring of 2020, she threw her political weight behind the launch of a 750 billion euro ($913 billion) pandemic recovery fund to be financed by joint bonds issued by the European Commission, taking a landmark step toward an EU fiscal union and economic government.

  • There is some truth to this flattering narrative about Merkel, but it tells only one part of the story. There has also been a darker side to Merkel’s leadership in Europe—both to the specific decision-making tactics she has relied on and to the general principles that have guided her policies.

Criticism

  • In approaching Europe’s political crises, Merkel’s main political stratagem has been to procrastinate and dither. Merkel became so famous for this approach that German teens turned her name into a verb—merkeln—which became slang for chronic indecision and for saying or doing nothing on an issue. (“Merkeln” was an early leader in the publisher Langenscheidt’s youth word of the year competition in 2015 but ended up losing out to “Smombie,” a portmanteau for smartphone zombie.) In almost every crisis, Merkel kicked the can down the road—hesitating to take big decisions until the last possible moment and, even then, often agreeing to do just the minimum necessary to keep things from falling apart. In many cases—from the euro crisis to the rule of law crisis in Hungary and Poland—her strategic inaction led to serious problems festering and becoming even more deeply ingrained.

Book

Book of Angela Merkel- 13angle.com
  • “The 31st Singapore Lecture: Singapore Lecture, 2 June 2011” is the name of the book written by Angela Merkel.

  • The Singapore Lecture Series was inaugurated in 1980 by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies with a founding endowment from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and augmented by a generous donation in 1983 from ExxonMobil Asia Pacific. The Singapore Lecture is designed to provide the opportunity for distinguished statesmen, scholars, and writers and other similarly highly qualified individuals specializing in banking and commerce, international economics and finance and philosophical and world strategic affairs to visit Singapore. The presence of such eminent personalities will allow Singaporeans, especially the younger executive and decision-makers in both the public and private sectors, to have the benefit of exposure to, through the Lecture, televised discussions, and private consultations – leaders of thought and knowledge in various fields, thereby enabling them to widen their experience and perspectives. On 2 June 2011, the 31st Singapore Lecture was delivered by Her Excellency Dr Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, under the distinguished Chairmanship of Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower, Singapore.

Honours And Awards

Honours and awards of Angela Merkel- 13angle.com

Honours

  • In 2007, Merkel was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

  • In June 2008, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Leipzig University.

  • The University of Technology in Wroclaw (Poland) in September 2008 and Babes-Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca, Romania on 12 October 2010 for her historical contribution to European unification and for her global role in renewing international cooperation.

  • On 23 May 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Radboud University Nijmegen.

  • In November 2013, she was awarded the Honorary Doctorate title by the University of Szeged.

  • In November 2014, she was awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa by Comenius University in Bratislava.

  • In September 2015, she was awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Bern.

  • In January 2017, she was awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa jointly by Ghent University and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

  • In May 2017, she was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Helsinki.

  • In May 2019, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Harvard University.

  • In October 2020, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

  • In July 2021, she was awarded the title Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa from Johns Hopkins University.

Awards

  • In 2006, Merkel was awarded the Vision for Europe Award for her contribution toward greater European integration.

  • She received the Karlspreis in 2008 for distinguished services to European unity.

  • In March 2008, she received the B’nai B’rith Europe Award of Merit.

  • Merkel topped Forbes magazine’s list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 too.

  • In 2010, New Statesman named Merkel as one of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures”.

  • On 16 June 2010, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C. awarded Merkel its Global Leadership Award (AICGS) in recognition of her outstanding dedication to strengthening German-American relations.

  • On 21 September 2010, the Leo Baeck Institute, a research institution in New York City devoted to the history of German-speaking Jewry, awarded Merkel the Leo Baeck Medal. The medal was presented by former US Secretary of the Treasury and current Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, W. Michael Blumenthal, who cited Merkel’s support of Jewish cultural life and the integration of minorities in Germany.

  • On 31 May 2011, she received the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for the year 2009 from the Indian government.

  • Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People ranked Merkel as the world’s second most powerful person in 2012, the highest-ranking achieved by a woman since the list began in 2009; she was ranked fifth in 2013 and 2014.

  • On 28 November 2012, she received the Heinz Galinski Award in Berlin, Germany.

  • In 2013, she received the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize.

  • In December 2015, she was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

  • In May 2016, Merkel received the International Four Freedoms Award from the Roosevelt Foundation in Middelburg, the Netherlands.

  • In 2017, Merkel received the Elie Wiesel Award from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

  • In 2020, Merkel received the Henry A. Kissinger Prize from the American Academy in Berlin.

Top 13 Interesting Facts About Angela Merkel

  1. For as many as 10 times, Forbes named her as the “Most Powerful Woman in the World”. 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.

  4. Merkel is the longest-serving incumbent head of government in the history of the European Union, as of March 2014.

  5. German supporters call her Mutti, which means “Mommy”.

  6. She has a degree in physics and a doctorate in quantum chemistry, and some say her success as a politician comes from her scientific, analytic approach to situations. She went on to work as a research scientist, as the only woman in the theoretical chemistry section at the East German Academy of Sciences.

  7. Initially, Merkel wanted to become a teacher for the Russian language and physics. In the end, she became a physicist and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig. In her dissertation, Merkel investigated the influence of the spatial correlation in bimolecular elementary reactions in dense media and received the mark magna cum laude.

  8. In her early public life, Angela Merkel loved to brag about her cooking and baking qualities. Indeed, there is a lot of praise for her potato soup, her beef loaf, and especially her plum cake. The cake soon became a measure of how much time she was able to afford her private life and her husband.

  9. David Cameron sees himself as a close ally of Merkel. But the feeling might not be reciprocated. Cameron wouldn’t be the first male politician to misread the chancellor – a dangerous mistake.

  10. Angela Merkel is indeed “a quarter Polish”. Now we know: Not only was her grandfather of Polish origin, the chancellor almost was born Angela Kazmierczak. Her grandfather was Ludwig Kazmierczak, born in 1896 in Poznan – then part of the German Reich. The family was proud of its Polish roots.

  11. When she visited the Kremlin for the first time as chancellor, Putin gave her a plush toy dog as a gift. Merkel became deeply afraid of dogs after she was bitten in the mid-90s. But Putin didn’t stop there. The next meeting, at his summer residence on the Black Sea, he let in his black Labrador Kony, an intimidating species.

  12. After a meeting with Merkel, a prime minister from a small south-eastern European country told the stunned media that the chancellor sees similarities between the EU and the ancient Inca. The European value system too could suddenly disappear without trace. Merkel sometimes uses the Inca story to shock, although nobody expects to see tourists climbing the savaged ruins of Brussels in the near future.

  13. Merkel is famous for her step-by-step tactics. She never would give a speech outlining a vision for Europe or at least a two year plan. This woman is not for benchmarking. She doesn’t want to leave any traces of her political game plan since this would only help her opponents.

Sejal Hans- 13angle Intern

Sejal Hans

 

Writer

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