Saturday

10th Dec 2016

Forbes: Putin and Merkel most powerful people in the world

  • Merkel and Putin: Powerful but they don't get along very well (Photo: Bundesregierung/Steins)

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has trumped US President Barack Obama as the most powerful man in the world, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel retains her title as the world's most powerful woman, according to a yearly ranking published by Forbes magazine on Wednesday (30 October).

With his signature healthcare legislation under fire, allies outraged over spying and a barely-averted default on US debt, Obama can no longer be seen as the most powerful man in the world, Forbes editors write.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"It appears that President Obama's lame duck period has set in earlier than usual for a two-term president, causing him to drop one notch from the No. 1 spot," they add.

Meanwhile, the ex-KGB strongman is solidifying his power in Russia "and anyone watching the chess match over Syria has a clear idea of the shift in the power towards Putin on the global stage."

With the possibility of prolonging his presidency until 2024 and with a tight control over the country's oil and gas reserves, Putin has little to worry about when confronted with European or US criticism about human rights in his country.

One of his louder critics, but also the leader of a country with lucrative business relations with Russia, is Germany's Merkel - who for the eighth time in the past 10 years is awarded the title of the "most powerful woman in the world."

"The world's most powerful woman is the backbone of the 28-member European Union and carries the fate of the euro on her shoulders. Fresh off a commanding reelection in September 2013, she has served as ­Chancellor of Germany since 2005 - the first woman in the position," Forbes writes.

Merkel has also climbed in the male-dominated "most powerful people in the world" to the fifth spot, just after Pope Francis and the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, is number nine on that list, followed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron (11) and French President Francois Hollande (18).

Apart from Draghi, no other EU official made it to the 72-strong list.

As for the female ranking, former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, currently head of the International Monetary Fund, is deemed the seventh-most powerful woman in the world. The Queen of the UK ranks 40, after pop stars such Beyonce and Angelina Jolie.

Forbes also did a ranking of the world's top billionaires.

The third richest man in the world is Spain's Armancio Ortega, who owns 60 percent of clothing brand Zara. His wealth is estimated at €41.5 billion. Forbes also notes that he bought valuable properties in Spain "at bargain prices" when the economy collapsed.

The richest man in the world is Microsoft founder Bill Gates (€52 billion), followed by Mexican telecoms chief Carlos Slim Helu (€50 billion).

Wilders convicted for insulting Moroccans

Dutch court says far right politician should not have made his statements calling for "fewer Moroccans" in 2014. However, he will not receive any jail sentence or fine.

News in Brief

  1. Council of Europe critical of Turkey emergency laws
  2. Italian opposition presses for anti-euro referendum
  3. Danish MP wants warning shots fired to deter migrants
  4. Defected Turkish officers to remain in Greece
  5. Most child asylum seekers are adults, says Denmark
  6. No school for children of 'illegal' migrants, says Le Pen
  7. Ombudsman slams EU Commission on tobacco lobbying
  8. McDonald's moves fiscal HQ to UK following tax probe

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Use Bioenergy Coming From Forests in a Sustainable Way?
  2. Counter BalanceReport Reveals Corrupt but Legal Practices in Development Finance
  3. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  4. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  5. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  6. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  7. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  9. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  10. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  11. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  12. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First