German chancellor, Angela Merkel has been named Time Person of the Year. The title is awarded to an individual who has influenced the year’s news for either positive or negative reasons and is decided by the editors of the influential magazine. Last year the title went to ebola fighters and the year before that, Pope Francis. The 61-year-old topped a list of finalists that included US tycoon Donald Trump, the Black Lives Matter protest movement and Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, described by Time as a ‘brooding muezzin of death’, was second on the list. Merkel’s selection was announced this morning on NBC’s Today show. She was praised by the magazine for her leadership on everything from Syrian refugees to the Greek debt crisis.
In her commentary, Time editor, Nancy Gibbs said the Chancellor was ‘not taking the easy road’.
“Not once or twice but three times there has been reason to wonder this year whether Europe could continue to exist, not culturally or geographically but as a historic experiment in ambitious statecraft.
“Merkel had already emerged as the indispensable player in managing Europe’s serial debt crises; she also led the West’s response to Vladimir Putin’s creeping theft of Ukraine. But now the prospect of Greek bankruptcy threatened the very existence of the euro zone.
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