[82] 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 satisfied with work of Merkel as Chancellor. [181] Her second and current husband is quantum chemist and professor Joachim Sauer, who has largely remained out of the media spotlight. [63] This was compounded by Merkel's proposal to increase VAT[64] to reduce Germany's deficit and fill the gap in revenue from a flat tax. [62] She regained some momentum after she announced that she would appoint Paul Kirchhof, a former judge at the German Constitutional Court and leading fiscal policy expert, as Minister of Finance. As the protégée of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Merkel was appointed as Minister for Women and Youth in 1991, later becoming Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1994. "Here we have the situation where six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one. In October 2018, Merkel announced that she would stand down as Leader of the CDU at the party convention, and would not seek a fifth term as Chancellor in 2021. Now in charge of Germany’s ruling party, Mr Laschet is well placed to succeed Angela Merkel, his CDU colleague, who will step down as chancellor after a general election in September. [192] After three occasions where this happened in June 2019, she began to sit down during the performances of the national anthems during the State visits of Mette Frederiksen and Maia Sandu the following month. [25][26][27][28] Merkel's maternal grandparents were the Danzig politician Willi Jentzsch, and Gertrud Alma née Drange, a daughter of the city clerk of Elbing (now Elbląg, Poland) Emil Drange. Plickert, Philip (Editor) (2017) "Merkel: Eine kritische Bilanz", FinanzBuch Verlag, This page was last edited on 24 January 2021, at 03:53. Merkel is highly popular in Germany despite the rise of the alt-right, and Trump’s stand against Germans has led to unfavorable views of America in Germany. [84] According to a poll carried out just days after the 2016 Berlin truck 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% Lindner (FDP), and just 10% for Petry (AfD). 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. [106], In November 2015, there were talks inside the governing coalition to stop family unification for migrants for two years, and to establish "Transit Zones" on the border and – for migrants with low chances to get asylum approved – to be housed there until their application is approved. He is known for a botched attempt at reforming the tax system. "[107] Seehofer estimated as many as 30 percent of asylum seekers arriving in Germany claiming to be from Syria are in fact from other countries,[108] and suggested reducing EU funding for member countries that rejected mandatory refugee quotas. Following German reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. [85], In the 2017 election, Merkel led her party to victory for the fourth time. Since 2017 Merkel has been seen and filmed to shake visibly on several public occasions, recovering shortly afterwards. Literature argued that the increased right-wing preferences are a result of the European migrant crisis which has brought thousands of people, predominantly from Muslim countries to Germany, and spurred a perception among a share of Germans that refugees constitute an ethnic and cultural threat to Germany.[114]. As one of Kohl's protégées and his youngest Cabinet Minister, she was frequently referred to by Kohl as "mein Mädchen" ("my girl"). A member of the Christian Democratic Union, Merkel is the first female chancellor of Germany. [68], On 22 November 2005, Merkel assumed the office of Chancellor of Germany following a stalemate election that resulted in a grand coalition with the SPD. As early as February 2001 her rival Friedrich Merz had made clear he intended to become Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's main challenger in the 2002 election. She stated that she does not plan to seek any political office after this. "[133] The comment was interpreted as reintegrative shaming. Merkel obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986, [1] and worked as a research chemist until about 1989 [2] when she entered politics. [137][135], On 25 September 2007, Merkel met the 14th Dalai Lama for "private and informal talks" in the Chancellery in Berlin amid protest from China. [92][93], In August 2019 67% of Germans wanting Merkel to stay till the end of her term in 2021 and only 29% wanting her to step down earlier.[94]. With her in charge the CDU has resisted the right-wing populist wave that has gripped so many other conservative parties. [citation needed] Although Merkel's standing recovered after she distanced herself from Kirchhof's proposals, she remained considerably less popular than Schröder,[citation needed] and the CDU's lead was down to 9% on the eve of the election. Those parties are - by and large - likely to be relieved by Mrs Merkel's decision. Until recently, she was widely admired for her support of human rights. She obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989. Instead, she was confirmed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday there was far more common ground to work together with Washington now that Joe Biden has replaced Donald Trump in the White House. [113], The migrant crisis spurred right-wing electoral preferences across Germany with the Alternative for Germany (AfD) gaining 12% of the vote in the 2017 German federal election. She criticised the government's support for the accession of Turkey to the European Union and favoured a "privileged partnership" instead. In December 2015, Merkel was named as Time magazine's Person of the Year, with the magazine's cover declaring her to be the "Chancellor of the Free World". Chancellor Angela Merkel will try to pick up the pieces this week after her party’s flirtation with the far right in eastern Germany led to a political fiasco. [139], In response to the death of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of organ failure while in government custody, Merkel said in a statement that Liu had been a "courageous fighter for civil rights and freedom of expression. Junior coalition partner, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said that Germany could take in 500,000 refugees annually for the next several years. [124] Merkel has won international plaudits for her handling of the pandemic in Germany. [57], Merkel argued that Germany should phase out nuclear power less quickly than the Schröder administration had planned. Many MPs of Merkel's CDU party also voiced dissatisfaction with Merkel. Tags: Narendra Modi, Government, politics, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, Erna Solberg, Benjamin Netanyahu, ... “We call on leaders from across the political spectrum… [265], On the American sketch-comedy Saturday Night Live, she has been parodied by Kate McKinnon since 2013. [11] Merkel has been widely described as the de facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman in the world and by many commentators since 2016 as the "leader of the free world".[12][13][14]. In 2007, Merkel served as President of the European Council and played a central role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration. [111] However, while not officially limiting the influx numerically, Merkel tightened asylum policy in Germany. Since the mid 1990s, Merkel has publicly mentioned her Polish heritage on several occasions and described herself as a quarter Polish, but her Polish roots became better known as a result of a 2013 biography. Political commentators have debated the precise extent to which their agendas are similar. 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