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After Grybauskaite came to power in 2009, European journalists quickly dubbed her Lithuania’s Iron Lady, owing to her steely way with words and her black belt in karate. The daughter of a saleswoman and an electrician, she worked part time in a factory while earning a Ph.D. in economics. She went on to become Deputy Minister of Finance in 1999, before holding a series of positions within the European Commission. In 2009, with Lithuania mired deep in recession, Grybauskaite focused her presidential campaign on protecting those with the lowest incomes and tackling unemployment, which had climbed to nearly 16%. Running as an independent, she won with a 68% majority — the largest margin of victory ever recorded in Lithuania’s presidential election history.