Angela Merkel recently emerged as the leader of Europe's largest economy, Germany, to secure a fourth five-year term as chancellor. However, it was her party's worst electoral performance in almost 70 years.
Holding the image of an emphatically pragmatic leader, Merkel has had the biggest crisis of her career last year, when she had to go through difficult and extremely long negotiations with her coalition members.
Once dubbed the Queen of Germany, doubts were raised at Merkel’s re-election due to the backlash sparked by her open-door refugee policy. Although her political position might have been weakened due to the policy, it is evident from the latest outcome that her popularity remains high. A record influx of 890,000 people came as migrants and refugees traveled to Germany through Greece and the Balkans. They headed for Germany after Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered a temporary open-door asylum policy in 2016.
Germany's parliament has elected Angela Merkel for her fourth term as chancellor, putting an end to nearly six months of political drift in Europe's biggest economy.
As she went on to be elected as a chancellor for the fourth time, even as her journey is seen as the camaraderie of several highs and lows. Often called as an Empress of Europe, she became Germany's first female chancellor in 2005. Early in her political career, Merkel managed to safeguard the German economy from a deep financial crisis.
Even as Europe's economic downturn continued, Merkel encouraged budget slashing and tight supervision as the solution for southern Europe's financial difficulties. Germany’s low unemployment and healthy markets boosted her popularity in the country, where Merkel was regarded as a safe pair of hands in tough times.
Merkel faced her biggest challenge as chancellor when Germany saw migrants and refugees heading in large numbers. In times ahead, the German chancellor is expected to address challenges such as a potential Europe-US trade war and seeking agreement with France and others on the future of a fractious European Union.