Who is Angela Merkel the most powerful leader of the European Union? Table of Contents
Who is Angela Merkel?
Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, needs no introduction.
For three terms she has dominated Germany’s politics and to a great degree, serves as most powerful leader of the European Union in what turned out to be an extremely trying decade.
Now, as many people wonder if Merkel will even run for a fourth term, we bring you a few interesting and amusing fact about her that you may or may not know.
17 Interesting Facts about Angela Merkel
- She is the first-ever female German chancellor.
- She is, in fact, Europe’s longest-serving elected female leader. Needless to say, this is only referring to elected leaders, otherwise the unelected British Queen Elizabeth is way ahead of her.
- She is a devoted football fan and has sometimes listened to games in the Bundestag.
- Merkel’s frequently used term “alternativlos” was chosen as 2010 Un-word of the year (meaning it was a new offensive term). She used it to describe the measures used to address the EU sovereign-debt crisis as the only possible choice and was criticized for being undemocratic.
- Her signature hand gesture, in which her hand form a diamond shape, has many names: ‘The Merkel-Raute’ (‘Merkel’s rhombus’ in German), ‘Merkel diamond’ or, our own personal favorite ‘Triangle of Power’.
- The same hand gesture made Merkel even more famous as an internet meme and the emoticon <> which references the Merkel-Raute has been used by her party as a symbol of Merkel in its Internet communications, following the 2013 election campaign.
- Merkel learned to speak fluent Russian in school, and received prizes for her skills in both Russian and Mathematics.
- Think the chancellor is a bit dull? You might be interested to know that during her college years, she worked as a bartender at disco parties.
- Before launching a full-scale political career, Merkel was a research scientist. She has a degree in physics as well as a doctorate in – wait for it – quantum chemistry.
- Back in the 1970s, Merkel applied for a position at an engineering school and was hence asked to join the Stasi (the infamous East German secret police). She refused, stating that she would fail as a spy because of she was a blabbermouth. As a result, she didn’t get the job – which was very fortunate. Working for the Stasi would end any chance she has in German politics.
- In November 1989, as Germany was celebrating the fall of the Berlin wall throughout the night, Merkel took a stroll across the border, drank one beer and preceded home so she wouldn’t be tired for work the day after.
- The chancellor has a serious fear of dogs, resulting from an attack by a dog in 1995. Putin is said to have known this fact and used it by bringing his large dog to a meeting.
- While Merkel has no children of her own, she is sometimes called Mutti by her supporters, which is German for Mommy’.
- Her husband Joachim Sauer hates publicity so much that he didn’t even make an appearance on Merkel’s 2005 inauguration as Chancellor.
- Dutch graphic designer Noortje van Eekelen has collected photos of Merkel wearing her signature jackets arranged into a chart by color, similarly to the Pantone color chart. It is known as the ‘Pantone Merkel’, the ‘Merkel Rainbow’ or ‘many shades of Merkel’.
- In 2015, Forbes named Merkel number 1 on its list of ‘the world’s 100 most powerful women’.
- Speaking of which, in 2015, Merkel also became Time’s 2015 Person of the Year, the fourth woman ever to have earned the prestigious distinction (and the last one was 29 years before).
Currently, Angela Merkel’s political career is facing major challenges.
Wills he overcome? Wills he even run for a fourth term as her popularity in polls crashes?
Any decision she makes could have an impact on the market.
Stay informed and take advantage of volatility.