Angela Merkel named Time ‘Person of the Year 2015’

Posted on December 9, 2015 11:49 am

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor has been named Time’s “Person of the Year”, with the American magazine hailing Merkel’s leadership in Eurozone debt crisis and Middle East asylum issue that has threatened to tear the European Union apart.Ms Merkel, 61, is considered to be the most powerful woman in Europe and around the world.She is only the fourth woman to be named Time person of the year, following Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee for whom Britain’s King Edward VIII abdicated, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Corazon Aquino, the first woman president of the Philippines.Merkel, according to her official bio is Lutheran pastor’s daughter, who grew up in East Germany and was first elected chancellor in 2005.She was praised by Middle East asylum seekers as “Mama Merkel” and derided by others as the eurozone’s “austerity priestess”. “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,” wrote editor Nancy Gibbs.”The prospect of Greek bankruptcy threatened the very existence of the euro zone.

Time Magazine Cover
Time Magazine Cover

The migrant and refugee crisis challenged the principle of open borders. And finally, the carnage in Paris revived the reflex to slam doors, build walls and trust no one,” Ms Gibbs wrote on Wednesday.”Each time Merkel stepped in. Germany would bail Greece out, on her strict terms. It would welcome refugees as casualties of radical Islamist savagery, not carriers of it. “And it would deploy troops abroad in the fight against ISIS … You can agree with her or not, but she is not taking the easy road.Leaders are tested only when people don’t want to follow.”Time described her as de facto leader of the European Union who throughout the eurozone crisis, when a fragile continent looked to Germany, Ms Merkel preached fiscal discipline and kept a tight grip on the nation’s purse strings, soothing the angst of a thrifty populace.However, it was this summer that the usually cautious leader took the biggest gamble in her decade in power by throwing open Germany’s doors to asylum seekers,owning an issue set to define her legacy.Ms Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert, warmly welcomed the accolade, announced by Time on American breakfast television.”I am sure that the chancellor will see it as an encouragement to press on with her political work for the good of Germany as well as Europe,” he said.

In the last few moments, America controversial politician Donald Trump has tweeted that he was not surprised he was not selected, tweeting: “I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favourite. They picked person who is ruining Germany.” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State extremist group, America’s Black Lives Matter activists campaigning against inequality and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani were named by Time as runners up together with Donald Trump. Time Magazine’s process for selecting the person of the year is said to be a secret between a small number of editors and the writer working on the feature story, according to the publication’s website.”Very few people on the staff know who the front-runner is, or even the short list. Really only the people for whom it’s necessary to know, know – including a small circle of editors and the writer working on the story,” said Time’s Deputy Managing Editor, Radhika Jones.”Layout meetings are held in secret. This is my fourth year editing it and I’ve developed a good poker face.”

Contador Harrison