German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named TIME’s Person of the Year.
TIME Managing Editor, Nancy Gibbs revealed that Angela Merkel, the woman who courted controversy in 2015 by opening her nation’s border to hundreds of thousands of refugees and managed Europe’s debt crisis is the publication’s choice.
Merkel is the first solo woman to receive the “Person of the Year” recognition since TIME changed its title from “Man of the Year” in 1999. The only time women have been chosen as Person of the Year was as part of a group, such as when the Ebola Fighters won in 2014.
In a TIME article, Gibbs said the magazine selected Merkel “for asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply.”
Merkel started the year by standing up to the Vladimir Putin, slowing down the Russian president’s attempt to seize Ukraine. Then came Greece’s financial meltdown that threatened the entire European euro zone, but which Merkel handled with the firm, no-nonsense hand of a school headmaster. Finally, she opened the borders of her country to Syrian refugees who had to escape from their homes due to ISIS’s tyranny earning her the title, “Europe’s conscience”. She opened Germany’s doors when other nations slammed theirs shut, facing intense pressure and criticism from both her own citizens and conservative allies.
Angela Merkel has been Chancellor of Germany for 10 years now.