German Chancellor steps down after remarkable 16 years in power

Aneela SiddiquiWeb Editor

27th Aug, 2021. 01:38 pm
Angela Merkel

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is stepping down after remarkable 16 years in power, with an unsure legacy at home and abroad.

Merkel, 67, has been dubbed Germany’s “eternal chancellor” and leaves her popularity so resilient she would likely have won a record fifth term had she wanted to extend her mandate.

Instead, Merkel will hand over the baton as the first German chancellor to resign willingly, ensuring that a new generation of voters will never know another leader.

Her supporters claim that as a moderate and unifying figure, she provided steady, pragmatic leadership through numerous global crises.

However, critics argue a muddle-through style of leadership, pegged to the broadest possible consensus lacked the decisive vision needed to prepare Europe and its top economy for the coming decades.

What is known is that she leaves behind a fragmented political environment, with the question of who will lead Germany next wide open just weeks before the election on September 26.

If she remains on to give over power, she will equal or surpass Helmut Kohl’s postwar leadership record, depending on how long the next coalition talks drag on.

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