Germany’s Angela Merkel is TIME ‘Person of the Year’

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While Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders may have been the readers’ choice, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been crowned TIME‘s 2015 “Person of the Year.”

Merkel has often been called the most powerful woman in the world, leading a united Germany for over a decade. She is also seen as the de facto leader of the European Union, the politico-economic union of 28 states located mostly in Europe. Merkel is TIME‘s first female “Person of the Year” in almost 30 years.

TIME editors made the final decision, choosing Merkel for her fortitude in the face of three huge international crises – Greece’s bankruptcy, the European refugee crisis, and finally, the terrorist attack in Paris. Merkel stepped into the center of each disaster, inserting herself as the point-person. Germany would bail out Greece. Germany would open its borders to the flood of refugees and migrants escaping war-torn countries. Germany would deploy troops in the fight against ISIS. Merkel’s policies were not always popular, but she forged ahead.

TIME refers to her as dull, a facade she uses to better surprise her challengers when opposing them. One thing that also sets her apart, is her continuing use of humanity and kindness in her policies, even when its unpopular.  “If we now have to start apologizing for showing a friendly face in response to emergency situations,” Merkel said, “then that’s not my country.”

TIME‘s runners-up for “Person of the Year” include ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, presidential hopeful Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter activists, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and Transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump had several things to say about TIME‘s choice.

TIME‘s “Person of the Year” is chosen as the person who has had the most influence, for better or for worse, on the news during the year.

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