The Merkel Magic

Ten Years and Still Going Strong

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session of the German lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, November 25, 2015. Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters

On November 22, German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrated ten years in power. In her time at the helm of Europe’s most powerful country and economy, she has demonstrated a remarkable ability to lead when many of her peers have seemed helplessly overwhelmed by current events. Most recently, after the devastating attacks in Paris on November 13, which the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, later claimed as its handiwork, Merkel declared resolutely, “Freedom is stronger than terror,” and she pledged to join the French government in rooting out the attackers. In short, as could be expected from someone who is sympathetic to the European project, Merkel responded to the tragedy in Paris with a call for greater solidarity between Europe and its allies.

Even before the Paris attacks, Merkel managed to remain in office during a decade that saw the largest economic downturn in the West since the Great Depression. She

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