Angela Merkel named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year”

Angela Merkel named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year”

-NRN/Reuters

Time magazine named German Chancellor Angela Merkel its 2015 “Person of the Year” overnight, noting her resilience and leadership when faced with the refugee crisis and turmoil in the European Union over its currency this year.

In a statement explaining the magazine’s choice, managing editor Nancy Gibbs said despite crises in the region that caused “reason to wonder whether Europe could continue to exist,” Chancellor Merkel, 61, emerged as an “indispensable player.”

“For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is TIME’s Person of the Year,” Ms Gibbs wrote.

In response to the news, Chancellor Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told a government news conference: “I am sure the chancellor will cherish this as an incentive in her job.”

“For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is TIME’s Person of the Year,”- Time Managing Editor, Nancy Gibbs

Ms Merkel celebrated her 10-year anniversary as chancellor last month, making her the European Union’s longest-serving leader.

time-person-of-the-year-cover-angela-merkel-2015For years she was seen as a cautious, risk-averse leader who paid close attention to public opinion in formulating policy.

But her leadership in the Ukraine crisis last year, her clinching of a deal this summer to keep Greece in the euro zone and her stance in the refugee crisis have changed that view.

In late August, when tens of thousands of migrants fleeing war in the Middle East streamed into Hungary, threatening a humanitarian crisis, Chancellor Merkel agreed to suspend the European Union’s asylum rules and allow them to continue into Germany.

She declared to skeptical countrymen: “Wir schaffen das,” which translates as, “We can do this.”

Her “open-door” stance has led to a fall in support for her conservatives and in her own popularity ratings, which have slid to 54 percent from 75 percent over eight months.

Time also noted her leadership this year in leading the West’s response to Vladimir Putin’s “creeping theft of Ukraine” and welcoming refugees to Germany despite “the reflex to slam doors, build walls and trust no one.”

Chancellor Merkel topped a short list of finalists that included U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who came in third, and Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was runner-up.

She is the first individual woman to hold the title since Corazon Aquino in 1986, though women have been honored as part of a group.

About author

Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

View all posts by this author →

You might also like

Highlight Stories

Government mental health reform to take “individualised” approach

The Federal Government has announced an overhaul of Australia’s mental health system, to take a more individualised approach. The shake-up follows criticism of the current system, which only allows mental

World

Obama calls for more action to combat Ebola

Barack Obama has called on more nations to help fight the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

National

Triple j Hottest 100 Decision

By Erin ArcherĀ    The recent announcement by ABC Radio’s popularĀ Triple j station, to move its annual Hottest 100 Countdown to a different date in 2018, has sent shock waves

World

Second Ebola case in Texas caused by “health safety breach”

A second person has contracted the deadly Ebola virus in the United States, after treating a patient at a Texas hospital.