German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2015. Mrs. Merkel is the 4th woman to be named person of the year by TIME and after Corazon C. Aquino she is the first woman to achieve this accolade after 1986. She is also the first German since 1970 to be named person of the year by the magazine. TIME described her as the “Chancellor of the Free World” on its cover.
Angela Merkel’s selection has been inspired by her firm stances in multiple matters of grave international importance in 2015. Be it the ISIS conflict in Syria, Greek debt issue or the Turkey shooting down Russian warplane, Mrs. Merkel has often taken the tough, later proving to be correct, road. Chancellor Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert said, “I’m sure the chancellor will regard this as an encouragement for her political work, for a good future for Germany as well as for Europe.”
Nancy Gibbs, editor of TIME, wrote in her column, “Not once or twice but three times there has been reason to wonder this year whether Europe could continue to exist, not culturally or geographically but as a historic experiment in ambitious statecraft. 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. 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.”