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Six degrees of Angela Merkel

A Doctor in physics holds the fate of the euro zone in her hands. Find out how she’s connected to Latin America’s favorite pop star (of Lebanese ancestry, by the way).

May 27, 2010 1:45 by

A physicist from provincial East Germany holds the reigns of the euro zone in her hands. Call her the brains behind the operation, and you won’t miss the mark. Angela Merkel earned a doctorate in Physics before going on to work as a chemist in east Berlin. At the age of 36, Merkel reportedly became involved in the nascent democracy movement following the fall of the Berlin Wall. A year later, she joined the Christian Democrat party, traditionally the province of Catholics from West  Germany.

The protestant woman secured a place for herself in the CDU, analysts contend, when she broke publically with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, calling for his resignation when he was snagged in a financial impropriety scandal.  Analysts say she is better characterized by pragmatism and compromise than ruthlessness, however. She was elected as Germany’s first female Chancellor in 2005, a position once held by…


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