Forbes Makes Merkel No.1 German Chancellor Is World's Most Powerful Woman
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has once again been named the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice only managed No.7 while a relatively unknown banker was given the No. 2 ranking.
Influential US magazine Forbes has once again compiled its list of the world's 100 most powerful women and this year's selection is dominated by women from the United States. At the very top, though, is a German: Chancellor Angela Merkel has been awarded the numer one spot for the third year in a row.
The German leader came out just ahead of the little known Sheila Blair, head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the US bank-deposit insurer which has had to deal with global financial panic kicked off by the subprime crisis. Indra K. Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, is in slot three.
The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice drops back from No.4 last year to No. 7 in 2008, while a women with a huge public profile, Hillary Clinton, ranks 28th in the world.
In justifying its choice of Merkel as the women with the most clout on the planet, Forbes points to the fact that the German chancellor's reforms have pushed back unemployment and sparked an economic rebound. However, the magazine makes no mention of the fact that most of these reforms were actually implemented by Merkel's predecessor at the Chancellery, Gerhard Schröder.
The magazine admires the fact that Merkel "bulldozes through controversy: hosted the Dalai Lama, chastised Mugabe and wants to make the euro a bigger player in global financial markets as the dollar wanes." Forbes also praises her for her commitment to the environment by advocating steep cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions.
Forbes chose Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of the French nuclear power firm Areva, as the ninth most powerful woman in the world. The magazine cited the fact that she had to deal with numerous questions about the safety of nuclear power after leaks at the Tricastin plant in south-western France.