German Chancellor Angela Merkel has had a tough October 2018.
The politician’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party suffered heavy losses in the regional elections in Hesse state, losing around 10 percentage points to only score 28 per cent of the vote.
Following the dire performance, Merkel announced that she would not run for re-election as chairwoman of the party in December, a position she has held since 2000.
Angela Merkel has revealed that she would step down as German Chancellor in 2021
She then announced that she would be stepping down as German Chancellor after her current term ends in 2021.
Here is all you need to know about Angela Merkel including who she is, her political career and what her net worth is.
Who is Angela Merkel?
Born in West Germany on July 17, 1954 as Angela Kasner, Merkel moved to East Germany when she was just three-months-old, after her father, a Lutheran pastor, received a pastorate in Perleberg, just north of East Berlin.
As a teenager, Merkel joined the Free German Youth communist movement in East Germany, which was frequently a requirement for many higher education institutions.
In 1973, Merkel began studying physics at the Karl Marx University in Leipzig. It was there that she met her first husband, Ulrich Merkel, in 1977. However, they divorced four years later. She married scientist Joachim Sauer in 1998.
Following university, Merkel pursued a career in academia, earning a doctorate in physics and working as a chemist at a scientific academy in East Berlin.
in 1999 Merkel demanded Chancellor Helmut Kohl, her mentor, resign over a financial scandal
As democracy hurtled towards East Germany, Merkel became increasingly involved in politics. After the wall came down in 1989, Merkel got a job working for the Democratic Awakening party, becoming a deputy spokesperson of the government following the 1990 elections.
Later that year, the party merged with the CDU, and following the reunification, Merkel became the elected representative for Stralsund in the Bundestag.
Under her mentor, then Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Merkel became the minister for women and youth. When Kohl ended up being embroiled in a finance scandal, Merkel called for his resignation and became the leader of the CDU in 2000.
In 2002 she became the leader of the Opposition and three years later, the first female Chancellor in Germany’s history.
In 2005, Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany in the country’s history
In her time as Chancellor, Merkel became associated with several defining political issues. In the early 2010s she became known as the austerity Chancellor following her imposition of strict budget cuts and measures on Greece, following its financial turmoil.
In 2015, Merkel reacted to the migrant and refugee crisis by opening Germany’s borders with the message ‘wir schaffen das’, which translates as ‘we will manage it’. Over 1 million people crossed the Mediterranean to make their way to Germany.
However, the open-door policy was not universally popular in Germany, leading to the likes of far-right, anti-immigration movements such as Alternative for Germany (AfD) gaining more prominence.
Following the sexual assaults that were perpetrated by migrants in Cologne on New Year’s Eve 2016 and the spate of Islamist terrorist attacks including the 2016 Berlin Christmas market, Merkel’s popularity began to decline.
AfD ended up up winning 12.6 per cent of the vote and receiving 94 seats in the 2017 election, the first time the party got seats in the Bundestag. Inextricably linked, Merkel’s CDU endured its worst result since 1949, leaving the party desperately trying to create a coalition with SPD.
However, the coalition was never truly a stable one and after months of in-fighting and turmoil, coupled with the disappointing result of the Hesse election, Angela Merkel has decided to let Germany start a new chapter in its history.
What is Angela Merkel’s net worth?
Angela Merkel’s net worth is estimated to be $11.5 million (£8.9m), according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Merkel’s salary for her Chancellor role was $234,383-a-year (£182,795) in 2015, according to CNN.
However, according to CNBC, Merkel’s salary in 2018 was $369,727 (£288,350), making her the highest-paid elected female leader in the world.
Her net worth trumps that of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, who is worth a reported $2.5 million (£2m), according to Spear’s Magazine, and who earns £153,907-a-year ($197,000).
However, her salary pales in comparison to that of Donald Trump, who earns $400,000 for his presidential duties and a $50,000-a-year expense allowance.