Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel is being lauded as the world’s most powerful woman again being crowned for the fifth time in six years by Forbes magazine.
It is a return to the top spot after losing her place to Michelle Obama last year.
It puts the German leader ahead of the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff and the head of the IMF Christine Lagarde. Lady Gaga is in 11th place.
According to Forbes Merkel is seen as the leader of the EU. But her lofty position on the international scene is not reflected at home where she has been taking flak from the opposition, the markets and increasingly her own party.
Merkel’s crowning came as her one-time political mentor Helmut Kohl wrote disparagingly that Germany’s European and foreign policy is erratic and lacking direction.
Merkel dismissed the criticisms saying the comments were aimed at German politics as a whole and not her specifically.