Germany's Angela Merkel named TIME Person of the Year

Angela Merkel Time magazine on Wednesday named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as its Person of the Year 2015, hailing her leadership during Europe's debt, refugee and migrant crises, as well as during Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

"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," wrote editor Nancy Gibbs.

Time named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State extremist group, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, America's Black Lives Matter activists campaigning against inequality against African Americans, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as its runners up.

Trump responded in typical fashion. The bombastic 69-year-old real estate mogul and presidential candidate was unrepentant even as criticism rained down from the White House and as far afield as Ottawa, London and Cairo, where Egypt's official religious body Dar al-Iftaa denounced his "extremist and racist" comments. Trump has called for banning all Muslims from entering the United States.

Trump took to Twitter to disapprove of the magazine's choice for the person of the year, saying, "I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favourite. They picked person who is ruining Germany."

TIME magazine said the German chancellor had "stepped in" every time a serious crisis had threatened European statecraft this year.

"The prospect of Greek bankruptcy threatened the very existence of the euro zone. The migrant and refugee crisis challenged the principle of open borders. And finally, the carnage in Paris revived the reflex to slam doors, build walls and trust no one," Gibbs wrote.

"Each time Merkel stepped in. Germany would bail Greece out, on her strict terms. It would welcome refugees as casualties of radical Islamist savagery, not carriers of it."

A pastor's daughter who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, the 61-year-old Merkel made an unprecedented journey to become chancellor, in power for 10 years, and the world's most powerful woman.