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50 People Who Matter 2010 | 8. Angela Merkel

Iron Frau.

As leader of Europe's largest economy, Angela Merkel commands huge influence on the in­ternational stage.

After the financial crisis, she was among the strongest advocates of tighter regulation on the banks, and masterminded the €110bn bailout of the Greek economy.

Domestically, things are less positive, with Merkel's CDU-led coalition losing control of the parliament's upper house in May as voters protested against the Greek bailout. But with poll ratings static for other parties, the "Iron Frau" is still a force to be reckoned with.

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This article first appeared in the 27 September 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The 50 people who matter