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Merkel named world's most powerful woman

The Local · 25 Aug 2011, 08:00

Published: 25 Aug 2011 08:00 GMT+02:00

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Merkel, who has topped the list of the world's 100 most powerful women in all but one of the years since she became chancellor in November 2005, beat out US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and, in 3rd place, Dilma Rousseff, who became Brazil's first woman president on January 1 2011.

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel is head of the one real global economy in Europe and is the 'undisputed' leader of the EU," Forbes said.

"Although overseeing a booming economy and falling unemployment, she contends with a weakening support base and crisis in the eurozone, where Germany is often in the unenviable position of bailing out its weaker neighbours," the magazine opined. "She is out to stabilize EU debt and keep the 17-member eurozone unified."

It was Merkel's fifth time at the top of the list.

The 57-year-old politician led it from 2006 to 2009 but then was bumped back to 4th place last year by US first lady Michelle Obama, Kraft Foods chief executive Irene Rosenfeld, and chat-show host Oprah Winfrey.

Clinton, listed 5th in 2010, climbed to the second rung after more than two grueling years as US President Barack Obama's top diplomat.

"Clinton continues to earn high marks for advancing US interests and policies overseas and pushing women's issues, development and education to the top of the foreign policy agenda," Forbes said.

After Rousseff was Indra Nooyi, the India-born, naturalized American chief executive of Pepsi; Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg; philanthropist Melinda Gates, leader of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi, Michelle Obama, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, and Rosenfeld.

Story continues below…

The list was heavily tilted toward Americans, 65 of the 100 places. Australia, China, India and Britain each had three spots.

The oldest on the list was Britain's Queen Elizabeth, 85 and ranked number 49; the youngest was 25-year-old pop queen Lady Gaga, ranked 11th.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:18 August 25, 2011 by streetcar
Good for Merkel!

Sonia Gandhi is head of the currently ruling UPA government in India, she's not India's president! The Local should correct this error. India's President is Pratibha Patil.
11:02 August 25, 2011 by ECSNatale
The CDU is not my party, not my ideology, and not my favorite, but I do have to give Merkel credit (since so few people do) for keeping a slow steady hand when others knees are jerking rapidly. I'm not an expert and I know that things here can be better, but I'd prefer working upwards from the position we are in then being in a perpetual slide downwards like the US and Britain. (sorry friends, but you know it's true).
11:14 August 25, 2011 by The Local Germany
The wire copy did indeed incorrectly identify Sonia Gandhi's position. We should have caught their mistake and have now fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out!
12:48 August 25, 2011 by benjahmin
ECSNatale - Hit the nail on the head. I dont agree ideologicaly with the CDU, but when you look at Germany in relation to UK and USA, theres no contest. The US and UK are rapidly decending into glorified bannanna republics.
15:41 August 25, 2011 by catjones
Angela, please, don't take it personally. If a woman were 'president' of China, you'd be in third place.
16:09 August 25, 2011 by Sastry.M
By stake or mistake Sonia Gandhi may soon find her place among the candidates of power as chair person of Indian National Congress and majority UPA member when Anna Hazare concedes defeat of his peaceful movement!
17:05 August 25, 2011 by freechoice

why you bring China into the picture? they are busy covering up for their problems. they have no time for this kind of contest.
17:57 August 25, 2011 by reallybigdog
I don't think catjones realizes that China goes down with the US so no she would still be in first place.
19:23 August 25, 2011 by neunElf
With a list of jokes like that, Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, you have to be kidding, I guess even "Angela The Cautious" can seem impressive!
20:58 August 25, 2011 by catjones

Let me help you with the obvious meaning of my remark:

Angela happens to be the woman with the highest office in the largest female headed country (GDP) in the world. If Jane Doe was the chancellor, Jane would be #1.

Since China's GDP is greater than germany's, if China had a female ruler, that woman would be #1. It has nothing to do with China per se. If Luxembourg had the highest GDP and its leader were female then she would be #1.

21:34 August 25, 2011 by Michel_Berlin
Why? Catjones?

Chinas male ruler isn't automatically most powerful male in the world either.

And no, it's not about her name...it could be a Jane Doe too...it's Merkels position and influence which makes her so powerful.
23:36 August 25, 2011 by Englishted
A very sad indictment for Women.

End report : Must do better.
07:28 August 26, 2011 by marimay
World's most smug swine from that picture.
21:31 August 26, 2011 by mkvgtired
ECSNatale, I think much of the reason Germany is not in the same boat as the US/UK is because of Merkel. I voted for Obama, but am extremely dissatisfied at how he handled the deficit/debt issue. I am constantly reminded of his promises to "bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington". Merkel stuck to her guns, and did not expand stimulus spending, and kept Germany's debt in check. I would much rather have Merkel as the US president than Obama.

On the other hand, all of this money that was saved seems to be going to the PIIGS. I guess this can be considered good or bad, depending on if you think Germany is better off with the Mark or the Euro.
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