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Angela Dorothea Merkel is a German Stateswomen and the current Chancellor of Germany. She has held the office since 2005. After the 2005 Federal Elections, she was appointed as Germany's First Woman Chancellor. Since 2000, she also has been the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and played a key role in the grand coalition between CDU, Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the 2005 elections. In her entire political career she has held many posts and has been the spokesperson for the Lothar de Maiziere and later has held the positions like Minister for Women and Youth as well as the Minister for Environment and Reactor Safety. In the year 2016, she was declared as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes for a record tenth time.
Angela Merkel was born to Horst Kasner and Herlind Kasner on 17th July 1954 in Hamburg, Germany. Her mother, Herlind, a teacher of English and Latin had a political background and connect. She was the daughter of the Danzig Politician Will Jentzsch and granddaughter of city clerk of Elbing, Emil Drange and had been a member of Social Democratic Party of Germany and also has served as the member of the Municipal Council in Templin. Angela was the eldest of the three children and had a brother Marcus and sister Irene. She grew up in rural area north of Berlin and studied physics at the University of Leipzig and earned her doctorate degree in 1978. She then worked as a chemist at the 'Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Science' in Berlin and worked there from 1978 to 1990. While working as a chemist, she also had an interest in politics and in the late 1980s she entered politics and joined the newly created party Democratic Awakening. The party was created in the wake of revolution of 1989 and then later merged with the East German Christian Democratic Union in 1990. After Germany was reunified and the first post-reunification parliamentary elections were held in October 1990, Angela contested the elections and was elected to Bundestag (lower house of parliament) representing the Stralsund-Nordvorpommern-Rugen constituency of the Vorpommern-Rugen District. After her victory, she was appointed under the Chancellor Helmut Kohli whom she considered her mentor. She was appointed as the Minister for Women and Youth and later was given a more significant role and was appointed as the Minister of Environment and Nuclear Safety in 1994. In the year 1998, after her mentor Kohli stepped down post loosing the elections, Angela was appointed as the Secretary General of the CDU Party, becoming the first woman to attain this post. In the year 2000, after replacing CDU leader Wolfgang Schauble, she became the first female leader of the party. CDU was a male dominated party, and appointment of Angela as its party leader came as a surprise to many political experts. After becoming the leader of the party, she played a huge role for the implementation of several laws and reforms in the economic and social system of Germany and earned huge popularity and acceptance among the voters. In the 2005 national elections, she challenged the then Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and stated that her main aim would be to reduce the unemployment in the country. She defeated Gerhard Schroder in the elections and became the first female Chancellor of Germany when her party formed a coalition with the Social Democrats after the election results were declared. She was appointed as the Chancellor of Germany on 22nd November 2005 and remained on the post after getting re-elected in the 2009 elections and then winning the 2013 elections after forming a coalition government with the FDP. After becoming the Chancellor, her main focus was Germany's Foreign Relations and she signed the Transatlantic Economic Council at the White House in 2007 which aims at removing the trade barriers and providing an integrated transatlantic free trade area. She also strengthened Indo-German relations and signed a declaration with India and both the countries held their first intergovernmental consultations in New Delhi in 2011. Angela is into her third term as the German Chancellor and will be contesting the 2017 National Elections with the aim of getting elected for the fourth term.
Angela was first married to Ulrich Merkel and took his surname. However, they got divorced in 1982. Angela Merkel then married Joachim Sauer in December 1988. Joachim Sauer is a Quantum Chemist and a professor and largely stays out of media spotlight. Angela Merkel has no children. Due to such a brilliant political career, Angela has been a recipient to many awards and recognitions and has been a recipient of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding from India, President’s Medal from Israel, Order of Merit to the Italian Republic from Italy, Royal Norwegian Order of Merit from Norway and Presidential Medal of Freedom from the United States to name a few. In the year 2016, she was declared as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes for a record tenth time.
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