Biography of Angela Merkel

German politician, Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg in 1954. Her father Horst Kasner was a Lutheran pastor.

In 1978 Merkel gained a physics doctorate, and then worked as a chemist at a scientific academy in East Berlin.

Angela Merkel joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1990 – just two months before German reunification.

Only a few months later Merkel was minister for women and youth in Helmut Kohl’s cabinet.

According to The New Statesman: “Helmut Kohl, with typical oafishness, used to call Angela Merkel “das Madchen” – the Girl, his girl, his discovery …”

In April 2000 Angela Merkel was chosen to lead the CDU after a party slush fund scandal. Initially Merkel had denied allegations that bribes were paid for the supply of tanks to Saudi Arabia, but she was the first of Kohl’s supporters to break ranks and in so doing made a name for herself.

In the summer of 2005 pundits regarded Angela Merkel as favourite over Gerhard Schroeder to become German chancellor in the September election.

The election was incredibly close. Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) got 35.2% – just three seats more than Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats (SPD). The election result left confusion with both Schroeder and Merkel claiming they had a mandate to be chancellor.

After the dust settled, and much trading between the rival parties, Angela Merkel became the first woman and the first East German to get the job as Chance

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