Angela Merkel with Helmut Kohl in Berlin in 2007. Image Credit: AP

• Angela Merkel has been chairwoman of Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU) since 2000 and German chancellor since 2005, making her one of the longest-serving leaders of a major country. Her current, fourth term as chancellor is due to end in 2021.

• Germany’s first female leader, Merkel has worked with three United States presidents, four French presidents and four British prime ministers. She has generally had good working relations with them all, although she struggled to bond with current US President Donald Trump.

• Merkel was born in Hamburg in then-West Germany in 1954, and moved to East Germany as an infant when her father, a Lutheran clergyman, received a pastorate in Perleberg. She obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989.

• Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989, and briefly served as a deputy spokesperson for the first democratically elected East German Government headed by Lothar de Maiziere in 1990.

• Her 13-year term as German chancellor so far has seen unemployment tumble from sky-high levels to record lows, output overcome the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression and the country reaffirm its role as a global manufacturing powerhouse.

• Merkel led Germany’s — and the European Union’s (EU) — response to the Eurozone crisis, when her insistence on tough fiscal discipline made her a hated figure in Greece, but helped reassure German voters anxious about taking on other countries’ debts.

• Another hallmark of the Merkel era has been the shift towards green energy. The chancellor decided to turn away from nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011, and the country is curbing its traditional reliance on coal. Instead, it’s invested heavily in boosting renewable sources.

• The first German leader to have grown up in the Communist East, Merkel has spearheaded the EU’s response to what western governments see as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.

• But her handling of the 2015-2016 migrant crisis, when Germany took in around one million refugees — mostly Muslims fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East and beyond — has proved a bigger test of her authority, dividing her conservatives and boosting support for anti-immigrant parties.