EU backs former French finance minister to head IMF


The European Union decided on Tuesday to back former French finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn to head the International Monetary Fund. 

The EU's Portuguese presidency said in a message sent to the media that finance ministers from 27 member states had agreed to support Strauss-Kahn as the IMF's new managing director when they met here today. The current IMF chief Rodrigo Rato announced last month he would step down in October for personal reasons, ending his five-year term two years early.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde confirmed that Strauss- Kahn had been named as the EU's official candidate for the top job at the IMF, saying his caliber and international experience won him broad support. “Dominique Strauss-Kahn has become the Europeans' candidate for managing director of the IMF,” Lagarde told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting of EU finance ministers, “and that will allow him to start a campaign and consultation process with all the members of the IMF.” The IMF is traditionally led by a European, while its sister organization, the World Bank, is headed by an American.

Strauss-Kahn was proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy as a possible candidate to succeed Rato. The 58-year-old socialist lost to Segolene Royal in the Socialists' nomination in this year's presidential elections, but was regarded as a front-runner to challenge Sarkozy in five years' time. (


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