Angela Dorothea Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany and Chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Merkel is the first female Chancellor of Germany. Angela Merkel has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union, and was ranked as the world's second most powerful person by Forbes magazine in 2013, the highest ranking ever achieved by a woman.
MERKEL, Angela Dorothea was born on July 17, 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany, the daughter of Horst Kasner, a native of Berlin, and his wife Herlind, born in 1928 in Danzig as Herlind Jentzsch, a teacher of English and Latin.
In 1954, Angela's father received a pastorate at the church in Quitzow, which then was in East Germany, and the family resultingly moved to Templin. Merkel thus grew up in the countryside 80 km north of East Berlin.
At school, she learned to speak Russian fluently, and was awarded prizes for her proficiency in Russian and Mathematics.
Merkel was a member of the official, Socialist-led youth movement Free German Youth (FDJ).
Merkel worked and studied at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Adlershof from 1978 to 1990. After being awarded a doctorate for her thesis on quantum chemistry, she worked as a researcher and published several papers.
Abitur, 1973; University of Leipzig, graduate in Physics, 1978. Doctor of Philosophy, Physics, 1986.
A physical chemist by professional background, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989 and briefly served as the deputy spokesperson for Lothar de Maizière's democratically elected East German government prior to the German reunification. Following reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag, where she has represented the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since.
She served as Federal Minister for Women and Youth 1991–1994 and as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety 1994–1998 in Helmut Kohl's fourth and fifth cabinets.
She was Secretary General of the CDU 1998–2000, and was elected chairperson in 2000. From 2002 to 2005, she was also chair of the CDU/CSU parliamentary coalition.
Merkel was elected Chancellor by the majority of delegates (397 to 217) in the newly assembled Bundestag on 22 November 2005.
In 2007, Merkel was President of the European Council and chaired the G8, the second woman (after Margaret Thatcher) to do so. She played a central role in the negotiation of the Treaty of Lisbon and the Berlin Declaration. Merkel is seen as playing a crucial role in managing the financial crisis at the European and international level, and has been referred to as "the decider." In domestic policy, health care reform and problems concerning future energy development have been major issues of her tenure.
Midway through her second term, Merkel's approval plummeted in Germany, resulting in heavy losses in state elections for her party. A poll in August 2011 found her coalition with only 36% support compared to a rival potential coalition which had 51%. However, she scored well on her handling of the recent euro crisis (69% rated her performance as good rather than poor), and her approval rating reached an all-time high of 77% in February 2012 and again in July 2014.
Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum. Along with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the CDU forms the CDU/CSU grouping, also known as the Union, in the Bundestag.