Merkel’s Miracle

9/16/13
 
   < < Go Back
 
from TIME Magazine,
9/23/13:

She steered the country past Europe’s economic crisis. What the Chancellor has left to prove.

Germany’s first female Chancellor and the first raised behind the Iron Curtain has already gone down in history as a trailblazer. Now, after nearly eight years in charge of Europe’s richest nation, with her policies affecting the entire euro zone and rippling outward around the globe, she is pushing for a third four-year term. She may succeed.

That alone makes her remarkable. The euro-zone crisis has derailed or damaged most leaders in its vortex. Merkel has thrived. A poll published on Aug. 23, the day of the rally, reveals that 63% of voters favor her return to office. Her nearest rival, Peer Steinbr├╝ck of the Social Democrats (SPD), lags at 29%. The CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, enjoy an advantage of around 15 percentage points. But the quirks of the German electoral system, designed amid the rubble of Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship to dissipate rather than concentrate power, mean Merkel has a real battle on her hands. And so she fights, rally by rally, town by town.

More From TIME: