Angela Merkel is the chancellor of Germany. She was elected to her second term in the position in September of 2010.
Merkel has been the chancellor of Germany since 2005. As a Protestant East German woman, Merkel broke the leadership mold of the Christian Democrats (CDU), traditionally dominated by Catholic West German men.
After the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Merkel got involved in politics, getting elected to the East German caretaker government. Following reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag (German parliament). Later, Chancellor Helmut Kohl took Merkel under his wing and she rose rapidly in the CDU party. After the CDU/CSU candidate (Edmund Stoiber of Bavaria) failed to defeat Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) in the 2002 election, Merkel became the leader of the opposition in the Bundestag. In the September 2005 national election, the CDU/CSU won by a slight margin, but neither the SPD (Schröder) nor the CDU (Merkel) had a majority. In the end, after protracted negotiations, Merkel became chancellor under a “Grand Coalition” (CDU-SPD) deal. She was sworn into office on Nov. 22, 2005.
In 1977 Angela Kasner married Ulrich Merkel, a physics student she had met during an exchange trip to Moscow and Leningrad, but they divorced in 1982. Her second husband is chemistry professor Joachim Sauer. Sauer has two grown sons from a previous marriage.
Merkel attended school in Templin (Brandenburg) and studied physics at the University of Leipzig, graduating in 1978. She later earned her doctorate in quantum chemistry and pursued research in that field. She also received an award for outstanding proficiency in Russian, a required language in the East German education system.
On June 29, 2011, Merkel spoke at a conference sponsored by the CDU, emphasizing her belief that euro-zone leaders could successfully pull out of the European debt crisis.
- Germany's Merkel: She's Got the Whole Euro in Her Hands. Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
- Angela Merkel (1954- ). The German Way & More.
- Merkel: Europe Will Beat Debt Crisis. Wall Street Journal.