State spending to support Chancellor Angela Merkel's migrant policy boosted consumption in 2015.
Photograph by Thomas Imo — Photothek via Getty Images
By Jonathan Chew
December 9, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named TIME’s Person of the Year, becoming just the fourth woman to individually win that honor since it was first bestowed in 1927.

Merkel beat a shortlist of seven other candidates that were seen to have made the most noteworthy impact this year, including ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the activists in Black Lives Matter, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In a corresponding announcement on the Today show, TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs emphasized Merkel’s handling of a myriad of issues – from the Greek debt crisis to the influx of refugees into the continent – as a primary reason for her win.

“In a year where world leaders were tested all through the year, no one was tested the way she was, over and over again,” Gibbs said on the show. “The threat to European peace and security really fell to her.”

The reaction to the pick on social media, at first glance, seems to be generally positive, and has also spurred the return of a bunch of the most famous Merkel memes and photos:

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