Today, the German Parliament confirmed one of the most powerful leaders in Europe for a new term. Chancellor Angela Merkel was formally voted into her third term by a coalition government of her party, the Christian Democratic Union and their allied Christian Social Union, as well as the center-left Social Democrats. Merkel's CDU swept September's elections by its biggest margins in 20 years.
Though, a year ago, with Europe in the middle of an economic mess, it didn't quite look like Merkel would enjoy the popularity she has today. The BBC's Steve Evans says that Germans have a deep affection for their chancellor.
"They call here 'Mutti,' the mother of the nation. And, that's the way Germans feel about her. There's not much dissent here, and the measure of that approval was her large election victory, which means now that she's been formally redeclared as chancellor over this new coalition government, she will be the top dog. She's the one in charge. Nobody doubts that."
To hear more about Merkel's political capital, the future of the German economy, and Merkel's decision to keep her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble in place, click the audio player above.