Merkel's legacy at stake as Germany takes EU reins

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a joint press conference with the French President (unseen) after talks on June 29, 2020 at the German governmental guest house in Meseberg, outside Berlin. PHOTO | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Merkel's last major role on the international stage comes as the 27-member club faces its deepest recession since World War II, triggered by a pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 people globally.
  • The crisis has galvanised Europe's most powerful leader who, with just over a year left in her final term, has ditched her usual wait-and-see approach to call for "extraordinary measures" to weather the storm.
  • There will be no shortage of challenges to tackle in the months ahead.

Germany takes over the European Union's six-month presidency Wednesday, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel staking her legacy on a massive economic recovery plan to help the bloc cope with the coronavirus fallout.

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