Angela Merkel

Party Leader -- Christian Democratic Union -- Germany

Only months ago, Germany's center-right Christian Democratic Union party was wallowing in a campaign finance scandal surrounding ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl. It seemed the party, which has ruled Germany for most of the last 50 years, was doomed to suffer the fate of Britain's Conservatives after the departure of Margaret Thatcher: drifting for years in the vacuum left by their domineering leader.

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