Angela Merkel is TIME's Person of the Year for 2015

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Dec 09, 2015 11:10 AM
Angela Merkel is TIME's Person of the Year for 2015

TIME has selected German Chancellor Angela Merkel as its "Person of the Year" (formerly "Man of the Year") for the year 2015. Merkel beat out other notable newsmakers, such as Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Caitlyn Jenner, and Travis Kalanick (the CEO of Uber). Merkel was selected for her handling of the refugee crisis and the Greek debt crisis.

The year 2015 marked the start of Merkel’s 10th year as Chancellor of a united Germany and the de facto leader of the European Union, the most prosperous joint venture on the planet. By year’s end, she had steered the enterprise through not one but two existential crises, either of which could have meant the end of the union that has kept peace on the continent for seven decades. The first was thrust upon her—the slow-rolling crisis over the euro, the currency shared by 19 nations, all of which were endangered by the default of a single member, Greece. Its resolution came at the signature plodding pace that so tries the patience of Germans that they have made it a verb: Merkeling.

Merkel is the first woman selected as person of the year since 1986's selection of Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino. This, of course, is excluding 2002's "The Whistleblowers," 2005's "The Good Samaritans," 2006's "You", 2011's "The Protester" and 2014's "Ebola Fighters," which all were represented on the cover of the magazine by at least one woman.

TIME's Person of the Year is meant to recognize the biggest newsmaker of the past year, and is not necessarily meant to be taken as an honor. Past awardees include Adolf Hitler (in 1938), Joseph Stalin (1939, 1942), and Ayatollah Khomeini (1979).

Not all of the runners-up were taking it so well, namely: