Knowing Angela Merkel

Red before she was green, the German Chancellor’s rise from dutiful communist youth leaguer to elected politician testifies to an eye equally adept as spotting both the main chance and the next back to stab. Who is this woman who opened Europe’s borders to the third World? The first of a two-part series…

Angela Merkel has been Chancellor of Germany for 12 years. Of all the leading politicians in Europe, only Vladimir Putin has been in power longer. The next German federal election is on September 24. If she wins that and completes her next term, she has will have ruled as long as Helmuth Kohl, and longer than Konrad Adenauer. Merkel is now campaigning with this slogan: You Know Me.

What do we and the German people really know about Angela Merkel? Her visions, agenda and background? It is not easy to grasp. Do we really know?