The world's most powerful woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been called the "Iron Lady" of Europe, remaining steadfast during the continued crisis in the euro zone. Even as Spain and Italy faced deepening recessions, she and French President Francois Hollande vowed to do everything in their power to preserve the 17-country European Union, and pushed through Germany's aid package to Spain's struggling banks. Merkel also called on international leaders to renew the Kyoto agreement, a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases that she helped ratify as Germany's environmental minister in the 1990s. She has been chancellor since 2005, and her recent public approval ratings soared to near 70%--a good sign leading into the general election in the fall of 2013.
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