Have a good life now, Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to hand over the baton after 16 years in power. She will not stand for reelection in the country’s elections, which take place on Sunday. 

Under Merkel’s calm, rational leadership, Germany shone on the world stage. As the Economist put it: “If the rest of Europe is nervous over Merkel’s departure, it is because she has made herself the indispensable European: brilliantly briefed, invested in personal relationships, and possessing almost superhuman negotiating stamina.” 🙌🏽

Merkel was the country’s first woman chancellor, outlasting international peers like George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Silvio Berlusconi and even weathering the Donald Trump era. One expert pointed out that Merkel’s focus was more on policies than on politics. As a trained physicist with a PhD in quantum chemistry, she followed the facts only, which we lauded in her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. But she tended towards sometimes damaging austerity and often failed to act decisively – particularly on climate change. 😬

As The Guardian points out, this will be the most unpredictable election in recent history and for a whole generation, will mark the first time they will not be led by a woman. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 23 September 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.