Angela Merkel is Time magazine's Person of the Year 2015

New York: Time magazine today named German Chancellor Angela Merkel its "Person of the Year 2015", saying her deft leadership has helped preserve and promote an open, borderless Europe in the face of economic turmoil, ongoing refugee and the Ukraine crises.

61-year-old Merkel, one of the most powerful women in the world, is the first female Person of the Year in almost three decades.

She beat some of the world's best-known politicians and leaders including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump for the annual honour.

"At a moment when much of the world is once more engaged in a furious debate about the balance between safety and freedom, the Chancellor is asking a great deal of the German people, and by their example, the rest of us as well. To be welcoming. To be unafraid. To believe that great civilizations build bridges, not walls, and that wars are won both on and off the battlefield," Time said.

61-year-old Merkel, one of the most powerful women in the world, beat some of the world's best-known politicians and leaders including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, ISIS leader  Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump for the annual honour.

Time said Merkel was chosen as the person of the year because she is the "de facto leader" of a continent, "steward" of the world's fourth biggest economy, a "principled manager and a resolute diplomat" and her leadership has helped preserve and promote an open, borderless Europe in the face of economic turmoil and an ongoing refugee crisis.

"By viewing the refugees as victims to be rescued rather  than invaders to be repelled, the woman raised behind the Iron Curtain gambled on freedom. The pastor's daughter wielded mercy like a weapon. You can agree with her or not, but she is not taking the easy road. Leaders are tested only when people don¿t want to follow.
 
"For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is TIME¿s Person of the Year," the magazine said.

The magazine said it chose the German chancellor for the annual honor because her leadership has helped preserve and promote an open, borderless Europe in the face of economic turmoil and an ongoing refugee crisis. Merkel is the first female Person of the Year in almost three decades. The last time a woman was bestowed the honour was in 1986 when Corazon Aquino, the first woman president of the Philippines was on the cover of Time magazine as its Person of the Year.

Merkel, herself a refugee who grew up in an undemocratic German Democratic Republic, has emerged as the "indispensable player" in managing Europe's serial debt crises and also led the West's response to Vladimir Putin's "creeping theft" of Ukraine.

Under her leadership, Germany bailed Greece out, it welcomed refugees as casualties of radical Islamist savagery, not carriers of it and deployed troops abroad in the figh.

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