On Friday, the world will get its latest Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Pope Francis, John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Eritrean priest Mussie Zerai are all on the list, reports the Guardian. But if Leonid Bershidsky has his way, it will go to none of the above. "I hope the prize goes to German Chancellor Angela Merkel," he writes at Bloomberg. She's the favorite with 6-1 odds of winning, and Bershidsky says there's good reason, particularly in her responses to Europe's refugee crisis, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and the Greek economic crisis. Faced with Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine, for example, Merkel chose to push for sanctions she knew would hurt Germany's economy rather than keep up the country's cozy relationship with Russia.
She went on to help craft the ceasefire that would stop the fighting, Bershidsky says. Then, confronted with the refugee crisis, Merkel "decided to bend European rules and accept those fleeing the Syrian war rather then send them back to their EU country of entry," helping to get "hundreds of thousands housed and fed," Bershidsky writes. In fact, "she may have sacrificed her political future to pursue that course." Next, "rather than allow Greece to flout European rules and set a bad example for others, she got it back on EU life support, under tougher conditions than before, but perhaps with better chances of survival," Bershidsky says. "No one has done as much as Merkel this year for peace, and for people fleeing war," he concludes, adding Barack Obama arguably won the prize for much less. Click for his full column.