Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Monday 17 January 2011 - by Andrew Hickley
Controlling Europe's most influential and fastest recovering economy, Merkel's eventual support was vital in providing a bailout to the endangered Greek economy.
Merkel's boldness in standing against other European countries has made her unpopular in many areas - demonstrated again through a firm rebuff of the 'eurobond' backed by Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker, which he argued could finally let the bloc escape the last effects of recession.
As stubborn as she has been unpredictable, Merkel also spent the back-end of the year campaigning for a European-wide system of bail-ins which would force bondholders to bear the brunt of future bank failures - an area she found success in, with the popular proposal mooted in the first week of 2011.
She found herself at the centre of one of the regulatory surprises of the year with a ban on naked short-selling imposed out of the blue between 19 May 2010 and 31 March 2011.
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