Few European politicians have had as many cartoons and caricatures as Angela Merkel. And for good reason: the outgoing German chancellor has been in power for longer than any other elected leader on the continent (excluding of course autocrats in Moscow, Ankara or Minsk). Moreover, because of Berlin's central role on the European stage and her political longevity, 'Mutti' – 'Mummy’' as the Germans call her – has often single-handedly embodied for good or bad the European Union, which is widely criticised for not having a public face.
As the head of the government of a “reluctant hegemon”, Angela Merkel has had to walk in the – perhaps too large – shoes of the EU leader more than once during her long career. Just remember her controversial involvement in the Greek debt crisis of 2010-2015 and her hard line adopted against Athens; or her decision to open German borders to asylum seekers from the Middle East in 2015. All these events have put Merkel in the spotlight, making the "most important European figure of the century" a prime target for cartoonists.
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