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Merkel era ends with a whimper, not a bang

Germany's departing chancellor leaves a vacuum on world stage

| Europe
History may not be quite so kind to Merkel.   © Sipa/AP

Lionel Barber is former editor of the Financial Times. He is author of "The Powerful and the Damned: Private Diaries in Turbulent Times."

Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, has been a permanent fixture on the international stage for the past 16 years, a steadying presence in times of crisis. Her decision to step down after the Sept. 26 general election leaves a vacuum in Germany and Europe that will not be filled easily.

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