Merkel steps down with legacy dominated by tackling crises

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BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel will leave office as one of modern Germany’s longest-serving leaders and as a global diplomatic heavyweight. Her legacy has been defined by her management of a succession of crises that shook a fragile Europe rather than any grand visions for her own country. In 16 years at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy, Merkel ended military conscription, set it on course for a future without nuclear and fossil-fueled power, enabled the legalization of same-sex marriage and introduced a national minimum wage, among other things. But a senior ally recently summed up what many view as her main service, as an anchor of stability in stormy times. He told Merkel: “You protected our country well.”

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