• She may have already been named the world’s most powerful woman—now, though, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is TIME’s Person of the Year for 2015. In a way, it’s not hard to see why. Twenty-six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Merkel’s Germany has become the de facto leader of a European Union adjusting to economic stress, the Russian incursion in Ukraine, and an influx of Middle Eastern refugees. The damage wrought by enforcing economic unity through anachronistic austerity measures to a host of countries that can take these reforms no longer is all but forgotten. Unsurprising, perhaps, but aggravating nonetheless.