Angela Merkel, the leader who takes refuge in data

Angela Merkel (Hamburg, 1954) is a fan of data. People in his immediate environment reported that he only made decisions based on numbers, data and facts. This view of the management of public administration has led to talk about the Merkel method or system in Germany and abroad, which consists of quickly diagnosing a problem and then having the time necessary to make a correct decision.

His obsession with data is no accident. Between 1973 and 1978 he was a physics student at the University of Leipzig. At the end of the eighties, he obtained his doctorate, in this same institution, with a thesis in quantum physics entitled “Influence of the spatial correlation of the bimolecular reaction rate of elementary reactions in dense medium”.

He gave one of the most illustrative examples of the importance of data in its management in mid-April of this year. In a TV interview, which can be seen on YouTube, he explained how Germany’s health care system could collapse from COVID-19 by the end of this year, if certain measures are not taken. Unlike other leaders who, when it comes to speaking of a health crisis, bet on rhetoric, she does so on numbers.

In an interview with BBC Mundo, political analyst Melanie Klintz assured that Merkel approaches the decision-making process from her experience as a scientist. “Assess the situation, read it, find possible solutions and develop the most promising ones. This process is less subject to a strong ideological framework. There are many points of view to be taken into account before making a decision ”.

This strategy of relying on figures and facts and keeping all possibilities open until the last moment has become, whether her opponents like it or not, one of the keys that has made her the most leader. important in Europe, during the first two decades of the 21st century. The other was his pragmatism and the low profile he gave to his personal life, including his relationship with scientist Joachim Sauer.

Merkel’s political life began with the reunification of Germany. Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it reached the Bundestag (Federal Parliament). Between 1991 and 1998, she was Minister for Women, Youth and the Environment in the last two governments of Helmut Kohl. She received the support of the former chancellor, for years later, to be elected president of the Christian Democratic Union.

On November 22, 2005, exactly fifteen years ago, the Bundestag elected her Chancellor of Germany, with a majority of the votes of the grand coalition. On that day, she became the first woman to hold the Chancellery and the first to lead Germany since the time of Empress Teófano Skleraina.

Since her youth, Merkel was a woman who broke many glass ceilings, however, in the midst of the #MeToo era, her speeches were never geared towards justifying feminist claims. In an interview with the online newspaper, she pointed out that the feminism she believes in and identifies with is one that stands for equality between men and women.

“I consider women like Alice Schwarzer to be true feminists, or Marie Juchacz, who along with other women fought for the women’s vote a hundred years ago and won. They have fought their whole lives for women’s rights in a way that I can’t say I did.

Another key that has enabled her to be the most important leader in Europe is that, during these 15 years in power, she did not anchor herself in the ideologies of her party, but rather broadened her look at the demands of the majorities. This is how his decision to end atomic energy projects in Germany was understood, after what happened in Fukushima. The resolution came at a time when the Green Party was very popular.

He resumed this political strategy when the majority of the German population agreed with the entry of thousands of refugees into the country, or when the approval of same-sex marriage was sought, which was a social demand to which his party has always adhered. had opposed.

One of the people who knows Merkel best is the German journalist Stefan Kornelius. He is the author of “Angela Merkel. Die Kanzlerin und ihre Welt ”(Angela Merkel. The Chancellor and Her World), the only authorized biography of this policy. In this book, the author sheds light on several passages of his life which allow us to understand the reasons for his pragmatic way of governing.

Kornelius says Merkel was raised by a Protestant pastor in East Germany. This reality, she says, taught her to wait seated at the table and to be aware that at any time they could be spied on. Therefore, for him, remaining silent when the rest of the leadership chooses to speak is more of a strategy than a weakness.

In 2019, she was rated by Forbes magazine as the most powerful woman in the world for the thirteenth time, but next year she will complete her fourth and final term. He has not yet announced whether he will leave the police. What is certain is that as long as he is chancellor, he will continue to take refuge in data in order to govern.