AFP’s person of the year: Angela Merkel
Paris (AFP) - AFP journalists have chosen Angela Merkel as the most influential figure of 2015 after the German chancellor stamped her mark on the European migrant and Greek financial crises.
The vote by editorial staff from all services and languages across the world put Russian President Vladimir Putin as number two on a list of people who most influenced world affairs over the year.
Putin had the top spot in the agency’s 2014 vote.
Here are this year’s top 10:
ANGELA MERKEL - The chancellor’s open-door policy brought around a million refugees to Germany over 2015. The flood of migrants, a consequence of the devastating war in Syria, was the biggest in Europe since World War II and put the continent under huge strain, exposing its fault lines.
For hopeful Syrian and Afghan refugees she was “Mama Merkel”; some of her European counterparts and party colleagues were less welcoming, even openly critical.
Merkel’s authority as the de facto leader of Europe was also on display during Greece’s protracted financial saga, when she stood firm as the country’s far-left government pushed back against austerity measures intended to save its economy and place in Europe.
Merkel was also voted Time magazine’s Person of the Year.