H.E., Chancellor of Germany Angela Dorothea K. Merkel clinched her landslide win for her third four-year term with 41.5% of the votes cast in the September 22, 2013, elections. It was a stunning triumph for her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Party since German reunification in 1990. She campaigned on the importance of European unity. “We want a strong Europe, a successful Europe. Stabilization in Europe is in the fundamental interest of Germans,” she said.
She is the only woman to lead a European power since Prime Minister Margaret R. Thatcher of Britain. Under her popular leadership, Germany enjoys low unemployment, healthy public finances, and an economic boom that pulled the Eurozone out of recession. A trademark of her administration is a cautious, pragmatic, and austere approach to economic and monetary union. Her favorite phrase is “step by step.” Forbes magazine named her the world’s most powerful woman for seven out of the last eight years.
Angela Dorothea Kasner was born on July 17, 1954, in Hamburg, West Germany, to Lutheran Pastor Horst Kasner and English teacher Herlind Jentzsc. Her Family went to the East, where she grew up in the small town of Templin. She studied Physics at University of Leipzig from 1973 to 1978. She worked at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Adlershof from 1978 to 1990. After earning her doctorate in Physics with a thesis on Quantum Chemistry, she worked as researcher and wrote several papers. She married and divorced fellow student Ulrich Merkel, and stayed out of politics until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. She joined the Catholic and male-dominated CDU and won her first parliamentary seat in 1990. She was appointed Minister for Women and Youth, and later for Environment and Nuclear Safety. She remarried in 1998 to Chemistry Professor Joachim Sauer.
Chancellor Merkel headed the CDU in 2000, and won her first term in 2005, becoming Germany’s first female and the youngest chancellor. She won her second term in 2009. She loves opera, red wine, soccer, shopping at discount supermarkets, mountain walking, and looks up to the iconic and thrifty Swabian as her model. Among others, she was awarded America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, Italy’s Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Merit in 2006, and Germany’s Grand Cross of the Order of Merit in 2008. She received honorary degrees from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 2007, Leipzig University in 2008, University of Technology in Poland in 2008, Babes-Bolyai University in Romania in 2010, and Rodboud University in the Netherlands in 2013.
The Manila Bulletin, led by its Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, Officers and Employees, congratulate H.E., German Chancellor Angela K. Merkel on her historic third-term election. We wish her and the German people all the best, good health, and success in all their endeavors. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!