Merkel's foreign policy has focused on strengthening European cooperation and international trade agreements. Merkel has been widely described as the de facto leader of the "European Union throughout her tenure as Chancellor.
One of Merkel's priorities was strengthening transatlantic economic relations. She signed the agreement for the Transatlantic Economic Council on 30 April 2007 at the White House. Merkel enjoyed good relations with US presidents "George W. Bush and "Barack Obama. Obama described her in 2016 as his "closest international partner" throughout his tenure as President.
On 25 September 2007, Merkel met the "14th Dalai Lama for "private and informal talks" in the "Chancellery in Berlin amid protest from China. China afterwards cancelled separate talks with German officials, including talks with Justice Minister "Brigitte Zypries.
In 2006 Merkel expressed concern about "overreliance on Russian energy, but she received little support from others in Berlin.
Merkel favors the "Association Agreement between "Ukraine and the "European Union; but stated in December 2012 that its implementation depends on reforms in Ukraine.
In recognition of the importance of "China to the German economy, by 2014 Merkel had led seven trade delegations to China since assuming office in 2005. The same year, in March, China's President "Xi Jinping visited Germany.
In "2015, with the absence of "Stephen Harper, Merkel became the only leader to have attended every "G20 meeting since the very first in "2008, having been present at a record "eleven summits as of "2016. She is expected to host the "2017 G20 Hamburg summit. In 2016, following the election of "Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Merkel was described by "The New York Times as "the Liberal West's Last Defender" and by "Timothy Garton Ash and many other commentators as "the "leader of the free world."
Following "major falls in worldwide stock markets in September 2008, the German government stepped in to assist the "mortgage company "Hypo Real Estate with a bailout, which was agreed on 6 October, with German banks to contribute €30 billion and the "Bundesbank €20 billion to a credit line.
On 4 October 2008, a Saturday, following the "Irish Government's decision to guarantee all deposits in private savings accounts, a move she strongly criticised, Merkel said there were no plans for the German Government to do the same. The following day, Merkel stated that the government would guarantee private savings account deposits, after all. However, two days later, on 6 October 2008, it emerged that the pledge was simply a political move that would not be backed by legislation. Other European governments eventually either raised the limits or promised to guarantee savings in full.
At the "World Economic Forum in Davos, 2013, she started to say that Europe nowadays has only 7% of the global population and produces only 25% of the global GDP, but that it spends almost 50% of the global social expenditure. The solution to the economic ills of the continent only can consist in raising its competitiveness. Since then, this comparison has become a central element in major speeches. The international financial press has widely commented on her thesis, with The Economist saying that:
If Mrs Merkel's vision is pragmatic, so too is her plan for implementing it. It can be boiled down to three statistics, a few charts and some facts on an A4 sheet of paper. The three figures are 7%, 25% and 50%. Mrs Merkel never tires of saying that Europe has 7% of the world's population, 25% of its GDP and 50% of its social spending. If the region is to prosper in competition with emerging countries, it cannot continue to be so generous.
She produces graphs of unit labour costs ... at EU meetings in much the same way that the late "Margaret Thatcher used to pull passages from "Friedrich Hayek's "Road to Serfdom from her handbag.
The "Financial Times commented:
Although Ms Merkel stopped short of suggesting that a ceiling on social spending might be one yardstick for measuring competitiveness, she hinted as much in the light of soaring social spending in the face of an ageing population.
Midway through her second term, Merkel's approval plummeted in Germany, resulting in heavy losses in state elections for her party. An August 2011 poll found her coalition had only 36% support compared to a rival potential coalition's 51%. However, she scored well on her handling of the recent euro crisis (69% rated her performance as good rather than poor), and her approval rating reached an all-time high of 77% in February 2012 and again in July 2014. Merkel's approval rating dropped to 54% in October 2015, during the "European migrant crisis, the lowest since 2011. According to a poll conducted after "terror attacks in Germany Merkel's approval rating dropped to 47% (August 2016). Half of Germans did not want her to serve a fourth term in office compared to 42% in favor. However, according to a poll taken in October 2016, her approval rating had been found to have risen again, 54% of Germans were found to be satifsfied with work of Merkel as Chancellor. According to another poll taken in November 2016, 59% were to found to be in favour of a renewed Chancellor candidature of Merkel in 2017. According to a poll carried out just days after the "2016 Berlin Attack, in which it was asked which political leader(s) Germans trust to solve their country's problems; 56% named Merkel, 39% Seehofer (CSU), 35% Gabriel (SPD), 32% Schulz (SPD), 25% Özdemir (Greens), 20% Wagenknecht (Left party), 15% Linder (FDP), and just 10% for Petry (AfD).
The "first Cabinet of Angela Merkel was sworn in at 16:00 "CET on 22 November 2005. On 31 October 2005, after the defeat of his favoured candidate for the position of Secretary General of the SPD, "Franz Müntefering indicated that he would resign as party chairman, which he did in November. Ostensibly responding to this, "Edmund Stoiber (CSU), who was originally nominated as Minister for Economics and Technology, announced his withdrawal on 1 November 2005. While this was initially seen as a blow to Merkel's attempt at forming a viable coalition, the manner in which Stoiber withdrew earned him much ridicule and severely undermined his position as a Merkel rival. Separate conferences of the CDU, CSU, and SPD approved the proposed Cabinet on 14 November 2005. The "second Cabinet of Angela Merkel was sworn in on 28 October 2009.
In 2013, Merkel won one of the most decisive victories in German history, achieving the best result for the CDU/CSU since reunification and coming within five seats of the first absolute majority in the Bundestag since 1957. However, with their preferred coalition partner, the FDP, failing to enter parliament for the first time since 1949, the CDU/CSU turned to the SPD to form the third "grand coalition in postwar German history and the second under Merkel's leadership. The "third Cabinet of Angela Merkel was sworn in on 17 December 2013.
At the beginning of August 2015, Der Spiegel reported that Merkel had "evidently decided to run again in 2017".
In 1977 at the age of 23, Angela Kasner married physics student Ulrich Merkel and took his surname. The marriage ended in divorce in 1982. Her second and current husband is quantum chemist and professor "Joachim Sauer, who has largely remained out of the media spotlight. They first met in 1981, became a couple later and married privately on 30 December 1998. She has no children, but Sauer has two adult sons from a previous marriage. She is a fervent "football fan and has been known to listen to games while in the Bundestag and to attend games of the "national team in her official capacity.
Merkel has a fear of dogs after being attacked by one in 1995. Vladimir Putin brought in his pet Labrador during a press conference in 2007. Putin claims he did not mean to scare her, though Merkel later observed, "I understand why he has to do this – to prove he's a man. ... He's afraid of his own weakness."
Angela Merkel is a "Lutheran member of the "Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg and Silesian Upper Lusatia (German: Evangelische Kirche Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz – EKBO), a "United "Protestant (i.e. both "Reformed and Lutheran) "church body under the umbrella of the "Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The EKBO is a church of the "Prussian Union.
Before the 2004 merger of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg and the Evangelical Church in Silesian Upper Lusatia (both also being a part of the EKD), she belonged to the former.
|Ancestors of Angela Merkel|
Honours and awards
- Germany: Grand Cross of the "Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Class
- India: Recipient of the "Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding
- Israel: Recipient of the "President's Medal
- Italy: Grand Cross of the "Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- Norway: Knight Grand Cross of the "Royal Norwegian Order of Merit
- Peru: Grand Cross of the "Order of the Sun of Peru
- Portugal: Grand Cross of the "Order of Prince Henry
- Saudi Arabia: Knight Grand Officer of the "Order of Abdulaziz al Saud
- United States: Recipient of the "Presidential Medal of Freedom
- In 2007, Merkel was awarded an "honorary doctorate from the "Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
- In June 2008, she was awarded the honorary doctorate from Leipzig University.
- University of Technology in Wrocław (Poland) in September 2008 and "Babeş-Bolyai University from "Cluj-Napoca, "Romania on 12 October 2010 for her historical contribution to the 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 (Honoris Causa) 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 the "Ghent University and "Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
- In 2006, Angela Merkel was awarded the "Vision for Europe Award for her contribution toward greater European integration.
- She received the Karlspreis ("Charlemagne Prize) 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, and 2016.
- "New Statesman named Angela Merkel in "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures" 2010.
- On 16 June 2010, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at "Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C. awarded Chancellor 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 Angela Merkel the "Leo Baeck Medal. The medal was presented by former U.S. 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. She received the award for International understanding.
- "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.
- India: "Indira Gandhi Peace Prize (2013)
- In December 2015, she was named "Time magazine's "Person of the Year.
As a female politician from a centre right party who is also a scientist, Merkel has been compared by many in the English-language press to former British Prime Minister "Margaret Thatcher. Some have referred to her as "Iron Lady", "Iron Girl", and even "The Iron Frau" (all alluding to Thatcher, whose nickname was "The Iron Lady"—Thatcher also had a science degree from Oxford University in chemistry). Political commentators have debated the precise extent to which their agendas are similar. Later in her tenure, Merkel acquired the nickname "Mutti" (a German familiar form of "mother"), said by "Der Spiegel to refer to an idealised mother figure from the 1950s and 1960s. She has also been called the "Iron Chancellor", in reference to "Otto von Bismarck. Stateside, both "Donald Trump and "Business Insider writer "Josh Barro have described Merkel as being similar to "Hillary Clinton.
In addition to being the first female German chancellor, the first to have grown up in the former East Germany (though she was born in the West), and the youngest German chancellor since the Second World War, Merkel is also the first born after World War II, and the first chancellor of the Federal Republic with a background in natural sciences. She studied physics; her predecessors studied law, business or history or were military officers, among others.
Merkel has been criticised for being personally present and involved at the M100 Media Award handover to Danish cartoonist "Kurt Westergaard, who had triggered the "Muhammad cartoons controversy. This happened at a time of fierce emotional debate in Germany over a book by the former "Deutsche Bundesbank executive and finance senator of Berlin "Thilo Sarrazin, which was critical of the Muslim immigration. At the same time she condemned a planned burning of Korans by a fundamental pastor in Florida. The "Central Council of Muslims in Germany and the Left Party ("Die Linke) as well as the "German Green Party criticised the action by the centre-right chancellor. The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper wrote: "This will probably be the most explosive moment of her chancellorship so far." Others have praised Merkel and called it a brave and bold move for the cause of freedom of speech.
Merkel's position towards the negative statements by "Thilo Sarrazin with regard to the integration problems with Arab and Turkish people in Germany has been critical throughout. According to her personal statements, Sarrazin's approach is "totally unacceptable" and counterproductive to the ongoing problems of integration.
The term alternativlos (German for "without an alternative"), which was frequently used by Angela Merkel to describe her measures addressing the "European sovereign-debt crisis, was named the "Un-word of the Year 2010 by a jury of linguistic scholars. The wording was criticised as undemocratic, as any discussion on Merkel's politics would thus be deemed unnecessary or undesirable. The expression is credited for the name of the political party "Alternative for Germany, which was founded in 2013.
In July 2013, Merkel defended the "surveillance practices of the "NSA, and described the United States as "our truest ally throughout the decades". During a visit of U.S. President Barack Obama in Berlin, Merkel said on 19 June 2013 in the context of the "2013 mass surveillance disclosures: "The Internet is uncharted territory for us all". ("German: Das Internet ist Neuland für uns alle.) This statement led to various "internet memes and online mockery of Merkel.
Merkel compared the NSA to the "Stasi when it became known that her mobile phone was tapped by that agency. In response "Susan Rice pledged that the USA will desist from spying on her personally, but said there would not be a no-espionage agreement between the two countries.
In July 2014 Merkel said trust between Germany and the United States could only be restored by talks between the two, and she would seek to have talks. She reiterated the U.S. remained Germany's most important ally.
Her statement "Islam is part of Germany" during a state visit of the Turkish prime minister "Ahmet Davutoğlu in January 2015 induced criticism within her party. The "parliamentary group leader "Volker Kauder said that Islam is not part of Germany and that Muslims should deliberate on the question why so many violent people refer to the "Quran.
In October 2015, "Horst Seehofer, Bavarian State Premier and leader of "CSU, the sister party of Merkel's "CDU, criticised Merkel's policy of allowing in "hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East: "We're now in a state of mind without rules, without system and without order because of a German decision." Seehofer attacked Merkel policies in sharp language, threatened to sue the government in the high court, and hinted that the CSU might topple Merkel. Many MPs of Merkel's CDU party also voices dissatisfaction with Merkel. Chancellor Merkel insisted that Germany has the economic strength to cope with the influx of migrants and reiterated that there is no legal maximum limit on the number of migrants Germany can take.
In the arts and media
Merkel features as a main character in two of the three plays that make up the Europeans Trilogy ("Bruges", "Antwerp", "Tervuren") by Paris-based UK playwright "Nick Awde: "Bruges" ("Edinburgh Festival, 2014) and "Tervuren" (2016). A character named Merkel, accompanied by a sidekick called "Schäuble, also appears as the sinister female henchman in "Michael Paraskos's novel In Search of Sixpence.
On the American sketch-comedy "Saturday Night Live, she has been parodied by "Kate McKinnon since 2013.
On the British sketch-comedy "Tracey Ullman's Show, comedian "Tracey Ullman has parodied Merkel to international acclaim with German media dubbing her impersonation as the best spoof of Merkel in the world.
- The English pronunciation of her first name is "// or "//, and that of her last name is "//, or alternatively "//. In German, her last name is pronounced "[ˈmɛɐ̯kl̩]. There are several different ways to pronounce the name Angela in German. The Duden Pronunciation Dictionary lists "[ˈaŋɡela] and "[aŋˈɡeːla]. According to her biographer, Merkel prefers the pronunciation with stress on the second syllable ("[aŋˈɡeːla] with a long /eː/). This pronunciation is more common in Austria. Other pronunciations, such as "[ˈaŋɡəla] and "[ˈaŋəla] are also heard from native German speaking people.
- J C Wells (2008) Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Pearson Education Limited.
- "Angela Merkel pronunciation: How to pronounce Angela Merkel in German, English".
- Mangold, Max, ed. (1995). Duden, Aussprachewörterbuch (in German) (6th ed.). Dudenverlag. p. 548. "ISBN "978-3-411-20916-3.
- Krech, Eva-Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz Christian; et al., eds. (2009). Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch (1st ed.). Walter de Gruyter. p. 739. "ISBN "978-3-11-018202-6.
- Mangold, Max, ed. (1995). Duden, Aussprachewörterbuch (in German) (6th ed.). Dudenverlag. p. 156. "ISBN "978-3-411-20916-3.
Angela ˈaŋɡela auch: aŋˈɡeːla.
- Langguth, Gerd (2005). Angela Merkel (in German). Munich: dtv. p. 50. "ISBN "3-423-24485-2.
Merkel wollte immer mit der Betonung auf dem 'e' Angela genannt werden. (Merkel always wanted her first name pronounced with the stress on the 'e'.)
- Duden, ed. (1996). Duden, Die deutsche Rechtschreibung (in German) (21st ed.). Dudenverlag. p. 112. "ISBN "978-3-411-04011-7.
ˈAn|ge|la (österr: aŋˈɡeːla)
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"Nach meiner Erinnerung war ich Kultursekretärin. Aber was weiß ich denn? Ich glaube, wenn ich 80 bin, weiß ich gar nichts mehr", sagt sie
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Wir fühlen uns dem christlichen Menschenbild verbunden, das ist das, was uns ausmacht. Wer das nicht akzeptiert, der ist bei uns fehl am Platz["dead link]
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- The economist "Arno Tausch from "Corvinus University in Budapest, in a paper published by the "Social Science Research Network in New York has contended that a re-analysis of the Merkel hypothesis about the distribution of global social expenditure based on 169 countries for which we have recent "ILO "Social Protection data and "World Bank "GNI data in real purchasing power reveals that the 27 EU countries with complete data spend only 33% of global world social protection expenditures, while the 13 non-EU-"OECD members, among them the major other Western democracies, spend 40% of global social protection expenditures, the "BRICS 18% and the Rest of the World 9% of global social protection expenditures. Most probably, the author claims, Merkel's 50% ratio is the product of a mere, simple projection of data for the OECD-member countries onto the world level <http://www.oecd.org/social/expenditure.htm>. Tausch also claims that the data reveal the successful social Keynesianism of the Anglo-Saxon overseas democracies, which are in stark contrast to the savings agenda in the framework of the European "fiscal pact", see Tausch, Arno, Wo Frau Kanzlerin Angela Merkel Irrt: Der Sozialschutz in Der Welt, Der Anteil Europas Und Die Beurteilung Seiner Effizienz (Where Chancellor Angela Merkel Got it Wrong: Social Protection in the World, Europe's Share in it and the Assessment of its Efficiency) (4 September 2015). "doi:10.2139/ssrn.2656113
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|"Minister for Women and Youth
|"Minister for the Environment
|"Chancellor of Germany
|Party political offices|
|General Secretary of the "Christian Democratic Union
|Leader of the "Christian Democratic Union
|Chair of the "Group of Eight
"Herman Van Rompuy
"José Manuel Barroso
|Chair of the "Group of Eight
|"Invocation Speaker of the "College of Europe
|Order of precedence|
as "President of the Bundestag
|"Order of precedence of Germany
as "President of the Bundesrat