Queen of the Mountains Award 2011

by Jackie_South on January 4, 2012

Our King, or in this case Queen, of the Mountains Award goes to the person who has seen their reputation or status grow the most over the year.  Last year, it went to Diego Forlan, the one time mediocre Man United player who shined in the World Cup for Uruguay.

This year, our choice comes from the world of politics.  Truth be told, it is not someone we much like, but her growth in stature on the world stage over the last few months has been almost unbelievable.  The award goes to Angela Merkel.

It is not that her starting point was that low, given she’s already Chancellor, although her approval rate as recently as August was only 36%, which makes Obama’s position look positively healthy.

It is where she has got to: in a single week in November she was able to effectively replace not one but two prime ministers in other countries.  She made it clear that the Germans would not bail out Greece and Italy if Papandreou and Berlusconi remained and ensuring that they were both replaced by non-politician technocrats: banker Lucas Papademos on 11 November and economist Mario Monti five days later.  Both Papademos and Monti had worked in Europe-wide institutions for a long time and were trusted by the Germans.

No European leader has been able to sack and put in place a more friendly premier since the Berlin Wall fell down.  When Davey Cam delivered his veto, it looked like a painfully isolated and petuelnt act against Merkel’s steely control of the European Union.

Hopefully, our 2012 King of the Mountains award can go to someone more likable.  But Merkel’s explosive escalation of power over the continent in the latter months of 2011 makes her last year’s undisputed Queen of the Mountains.

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