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EU head calls for single euro zone seat at IMF

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-02-25

Herman Van Rompuy, the head of the European Union, say euro zone members should share a single seat at the International Monetary Fund; a view that is yet to be shared by leading bloc members.

AFP - The head of the European Union Thursday called for eurozone states to be represented by a single seat at the International Monetary Fund, despite little interest among leading bloc members.

"The eurozone must consider ways to boost its external representation in institutions such as the International Monetary Fund," EU President Herman Van Rompuy said in a speech delivered in Bruges.

"This should not be a taboo subject among eurozone members."

A single seat at the IMF for the eurozone also has the support of the EU executive commission and the head of the eurozone finance ministers' group Jean-Claude Juncker.

But the notion has yet to catch on with Germany, France and Italy.

As part of a bid to boost the influence of emerging market countries in the IMF, there has been discussion in recent years of streamlining the representation of Europe, notably by the creation of single seats for the 16-nation eurozone or the 27-member EU.

Reforms to IMF representation have been promised for 2011 but so far nothing concrete has emerged from the discussions.

At the moment, European countries are heavily represented on the IMF's 24-member executive board.

Taken together, EU states account for 32 percent of the votes on the board and the eurozone 23 percent, giving them a degree of influence considered excessive by emerging market nations.

Van Rompuy has argued that Europe must begin to speak with a single voice in order to make itself heard in international institutions.
 

Date created : 2010-02-25

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