Angela Merkel, Germany's 'eternal chancellor'

But as the pastor's daughter raised behind the Iron Curtain heads toward a likely fourth term at the helm of Europe's biggest economy, many Germans simply call her the "eternal chancellor".

Angela Merkel, Germany's 'eternal chancellor'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Angela Merkel has been derided as Europe's "austerity queen", cheered as a saviour by refugees and hailed as the new "leader of the free world".

"Mutti" (Mummy) Merkel, with her pragmatic, modest and reassuringly bland style, has perfected the art of staying in power in a wealthy, ageing nation that tends to favour continuity over change.

In the turbulent times of Trump, Brexit and multiple global crises, the 63-year-old has become the bedrock in a country fearful of maintaining its enviable growth and employment rates.

If there is one conviction Merkel holds dear, it is a lesson from her upbringing in communist East Germany -- a firm belief that Germany and Europe must stay competitive and debt-free in a rapidly changing global economy.

Germans have thanked her by keeping her in power ever since she became their youngest and first female chancellor in 2005, a contemporary of long-gone leaders George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac.

Seemingly devoid of vanity and indifferent to the trappings of power, she lives in a Berlin flat with her media-shy scientist husband Joachim Sauer, shops in a local supermarket and spends holidays hiking in the Alps.

When international newspapers, after Trump's surprise victory last year, declared Merkel the new torch-bearer of liberal democracy, she waved off the accolade as "grotesque and absurd".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Eylül 2017, 12:19