Angela Merkel is a German politician and chemist who is the Chancellor of Germany since 22 November 2005 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000.
Since 1990, Merkel has been directly elected member of the German Bundestag. Between 1991 and 1994, Merkel was the federal Minister for Women and Youth in Helmut Kohl’s government and the Environment and Nuclear Safety Minister in 1994-1998. 1998-2000, she was the secretary of the CDU.
Merkel is the Federal Republic of Germany’s eighth chancellor since the Second World War; the first politician who grew up in East Germany and hold the office, and the first woman at the chancellor post. She has previously worked as a researcher in quantum chemistry and has a doctorate in the subject.
Angela Merkel has been described as the Union’s real leader, and is currently ranked as the world’s second most powerful person by Forbes magazine; thus, she is the most powerful woman in the modern era.
Angela Merkel was born 17 July 1954 in Hamburg in West Germany in a priest family. As a child, she moved with her family to the town of Templin in the former East Germany, where she grew up.
She later studied physics at Leipzig University and had a PhD in 1986 at the East German Academy of Sciences Centre for Physical Chemistry in Adlershof in East Berlin.
In 1989, she was engaged in the opposition party Demokratischer Aufbruch formation, which in 1990 merged with the East German CDU. Merkel had the mission as spokeswoman for the last East German government, which was dominated by the CDU and led by Lothar de Maiziere.
Upon German reunification in 1990, Merkel became a member of the Bundestag, which she has been ever since. She has been a directly elected member of the German Bundestag, represented CDU in the constituency Stralsund-Nord in the rural district of Vorpommern-Rügen, with 49.3 per cent of the constituency votes in the Bundestag elections in 2009. From 1991 to 1994, she was Minister for Women and Youth Affairs, and from 1994 to 1998 Minister of Environment in Helmut Kohl’s government.
Since April 2000, Merkel is the chairman of the CDU. During her first year as party leader, she often conceded to other politicians. In the Bundestag debates against Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Merkel initially did not represent her party, as she was not a group leader in the Bundestag. Merkel was not the CDU and the CSU candidate for chancellor before the Bundestag election of 2002: this confidence got instead CSU leader Edmund Stoiber. During the mandate period of 2002-2005 Merkel considerably strengthened, however, her position in the party and was largely unquestioned as chancellor candidate facing the front-Bundestag election of 2005.
Angela Merkel is an honorary doctor at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, Leipzig University, Technical University of Wroclaw, Poland, New Yorker, the New School, the University of Bern in Switzerland, Ruse University in Bulgaria, Babe?-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania, Ewha University in Seoul, and Tel Aviv University.
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