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End Of An Era: Germany’s Merkel Bows Out After 16 Years

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FILE - Angela Merkel arrives for a television debate with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at a television studio in Berlin, Sept. 4, 2005. As chancellor, Merkel has been credited with raising Germany’s profile and influence, helping hold a fractious European Union together, managing a string of crises and being a role model for women in a near-record tenure that ends with her leaving office amid praise from abroad and enduring popularity at home. Her designated successor Olaf Scholz is expected to take office Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Jockel Finck, File)

(AP) — Angela Merkel is credited with raising Germany’s profile and influence, working to hold a fractious European Union together, managing a string of crises and being a role model for women in a near-record tenure that ends with her leaving office amid praise from abroad and enduring popularity at home.

The former scientist, raised in communist East Germany, was already assured of a place in the history books when she became the first female chancellor in 2005.

Sixteen years later, the 67-year-old is bowing out around a week short of the record for longevity held by her one-time mentor, Helmut Kohl, who reunited Germany during his 1982-1998 tenure. Her designated successor, Olaf Scholz, is expected to take office Wednesday.

 

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