born 1954

Today, Angela Merkel ranks as the world's most powerful woman. You wouldn't know it from her humble demeanor, but the Soviet-educated chemist is not only the long-serving German head of state but also a major player in global politics. 

She has chaired the G8 and been President of the European Council. She has led international efforts to address the global Financial Crisis and climate change. Sleep, quite famously, is not one of her top priorities.

Growing up under the political strictures of East Germany, Angela became an advocate for civil liberties + economic liberalism after the fall of the Berlin Wall. "Freedom," she says, "is the very essence of our economy and society."

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Angela Merkel (17)

"Old habits, perquisites and inherited rights no longer guarantee success. The old hierarchies are being flattened...Resources, potentials and power can shift completely overnight."

Opening Address | january 2007

"Growth remains for all countries the basic prerequisite for achieving more employment, higher living standards and greater resource productivity. But growth is not an end in itself. It must be cre­ated equitably."

Opening Address | january 2007

"I'm convinced that the essence of globalization today provides the world with many more opportunities than risks."

Opening Address | january 2007

"Zero growth cannot and will not be the answer. Rather, the answer is greater innovation."

Opening Address | january 2007

"Freedom is the very essence of our economy and society. Without freedom the human mind is prevented from unleashing its creative force."

We Have No Time to Lose | november 2009

"Tolerance means showing respect for other people's history, traditions, religion and cultural identity. But let there be no misunderstanding: Tolerance does not mean 'anything goes'."

We Have No Time to Lose | november 2009

"Just as we found the strength in the 20th century to tear down a wall made of barbed wire and concrete, today we have the strength to overcome the walls of the 21st century, walls in our minds, walls of short-sighted self-interest, walls between the present and the future."

We Have No Time to Lose | november 2009

"Tolerance does not mean 'anything goes'."

We Have No Time to Lose | november 2009

"Neither the chains of dictatorship nor the fetters of oppression can keep down the forces of freedom for long."

Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony | june 2011

"I don't do dinner parties."

Süddeutsche Zeitung | august 2012

"We do not want dynamism at any price, but dynamism that can withstand shocks."

Special Address | january 2013

"Consolidation and growth basically are two sides of the same coin."

Special Address | january 2013

"Speed is important, but it isn't everything. Democracy remains superior, partly because built-in checks and balances make it less prone to failure in the long term."

Angela Merkel on Europe: 'We Are All in the Same Boat' | june 2013

"I am regarded as a permanent delayer sometimes, but I think it is essential and extremely important to take people along and really listen to them in political talks."

remarks for the opening of a WWI exhibit at the German Historical Museum | may 2014

"What is needed is a turnaround, a global turnaround. Any delay will ultimately mean higher costs...That’s why, when those of us who want to push on with climate protection are talking about how much any action will cost, we also need to say how much inaction will cost."

at the Fifth Petersberg Climate Dialogue | july 2014

"The legitimate criticism of the political actions of a government is fine. But if it is only used as a cloak for one’s hatred against other people, then it is a misuse of our basic rights of freedom of opinion and assembly."

at Berlin rally to oppose increasing Anti-Semitism in Germany | september 2014

"Democracy must be our answer to terrorism."

World Economic Forum | january 2015
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson {january 2015}