Angela Merkel was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany for the fourth time after lawmakers re-elected her as their leader in a close vote on Wednesday (Mar 14) morning.
Here are 10 little-known facts about Angela Merkel:
1. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner. She took the surname Merkel after her marriage to physics student Ulrich Merkel in 1977 at the age of 23. The couple got divorced in 1982.
2. She is called “Mutti” by her German supporters. It means “Mommy”.
3. Did you know Angela Merkel used to work as a bartender at disco parties in college!
4. She has got a physics degree and a doctorate in quantum chemistry. The German Chancellor was the only woman research scientist in the theoretical chemistry section at the East German Academy of Sciences.
5. In late 1970s, Angela Merkel wanted to join the Stasi (East German secret police); but she was refused. The German Chancellor claimed the refusal was due to her blabbermouth, which would have made her a bad spy.
6. She married quantum chemist and professor Joachim Sauer on Dec 30, 1998. Her present husband dislikes publicity and prefers to stay away from media glares.
He flies budget airlines though he may well travel with his star wife on official planes. The couple love spending time together hiking or seeing opera.
7. Angela Merkel is reportedly a very good cook. She makes delicious plum cakes. She is often spotted shopping groceries at regular supermarkets.
The German Chancellor had told former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan that she still makes breakfast for her husband every morning.
8. She is scared of dogs, as a reaction after getting bitten by one way back in 1995.
9. Angela Merkel is a soccer fan. She tries to attend the national team’s games as often as possible and even visits the German soccer team’s locker rooms to congratulate them after a win.
10. While almost everyone in Germany celebrated all night the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov 9, 1989, Angela Merkel visited a sauna, wandered across the border for sometime, had a beer and went home so that she could be at work on time the next day.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.