German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named Time's Person of the Year, praised by the magazine for her leadership on everything from Syrian refugees to the Greek debt crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrives for a meeting in Berlin. Merkel has been named as Time's Person of the Year, the publication announced Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

Time also cited Merkel's strong response to "Vladimir Putin's creeping theft of Ukraine."

"Leaders are tested only when people don't want to follow," Time editor Nancy Gibbs said in a statement issued Wednesday.

"For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is TIME's Person of the Year."

Merkel, 61, is just the fourth woman since 1927 to be chosen and the first since opposition leader Corazon C. Aquino of the Philippines in 1986.

She is the first German since Willy Brandt, the West German chancellor named in 1970 for "seeking to bring about a fresh relationship between East and West" during the Cold War. In 1999, Time picked the German-born Albert Einstein as Person of the Century.

The seven other finalists for 2015 included Donald Trump, the Black Lives Matter protest movement and Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick.

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