Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Evidence of Russian support for Ukrainian rebel counter-attack grows

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

Europe

French minister emerges as potential successor to IMF chief

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-17

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has emerged as a potential successor to IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is being detained in a New York jail on charges of attempted rape.

AFP - European powers began Tuesday to distance themselves from Dominique Strauss-Kahn as current French finance minister Christine Lagarde emerged as a favoured replacement as head of the IMF.
             
With Strauss-Kahn, one of Lagarde's predecessors, languishing in New York's Rikers Island jail awaiting trial on charges of attempted rape, the European Union has unfinished business with the eurozone debt crisis and the virtual certainty that Greece will eventually need more financial aid.

Euro zone gets down to business despite Strauss-Kahn arrest

For that reason, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso told Dutch media that "if a succession is necessary, European Union states should present their candidate."
             
A diplomat told AFP that Europe feels now is not the time to end the cosy arrangement whereby it holds the job of International Monetary Fund managing director, and the equivalent post at the World Bank by the Americans.
             
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belgian finance minister Didier Reynders fired the starting gun on jockeying Monday, and others went further on Tuesday.
             
"Given the refusal to grant him bail, (Strauss-Kahn) must reflect himself on the damage this could cause to the institution," said Austria's Maria Fekter, even though a source close to the IMF has suggested disciplinary proceedings could be launched soon in Washington.
             
She was speaking on arrival for a second day of talks among European finance ministers in Brussels, a meeting Strauss-Kahn had been due to attend as the EU grapples with Greek cries for more help.
             
Likewise Spain's Elena Salgado, who while acknowledging that "the decision is up to Mr Strauss-Kahn in the first place," also said that the "extraordinarily serious" accusations meant "my solidarity is with the woman who suffered an attack, if that's really what happened."
             
As potential runners and riders began to emerge, either way "the feeling is it's not for Europe to budge," said the diplomat who asked not to be named.
             
Lagarde is considered "certainly a credible candidate," but EU partners are "waiting to see if (President Nicolas) Sarkozy will put her forward.
             
"She is waiting to see if Sarkozy will put her forward," he added, of the care with which the Europeans are trying not to appear "indecent."
             
France has had four of the 11 IMF bosses since the institution was set up in 1946, which may prove Lagarde's biggest drawback, but it would appear she can also count on support from London, judging by an appeareance alongside George Osborne last week on the BBC.
             
When asked about the mid-2012 end of mandate for Strauss-Kahn, Lagarde said on the show that the post had an incumbent. But when pushed Osborne said she would make a good future candidate.
             
As the convention is that only heads of state or government can nominate candidates, former British Labour prime minister Gordon Brown's long-cherished hopes of succeeding Strauss-Kahn may be dead and buried.

Conservative successor David Cameron's government has already noted "no groundswell of support" for the Scot.
             
Germany's mass-market daily Bild mentioned Josef Ackerman, the chief executive of Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, as well as Lagarde, while a compromise candidate who could find favour if emerging economies step up a campaign might be Turkey's Kemal Dervis, according to diplomats.
             
As Turkish finance minister, Dervis used an IMF bailout at the start of the last decade to set Ankara on its path to sharp growth and has also previously headed the UN Development Programme.
             
Deputy managing director John Lipsky is filling in for Strauss-Kahn for now, but he had announced before the Frenchman's dramatic arrest on board an Air France plane that he would leave on August 31 -- meaning the Fund faces a challenge replacing its top two officials in a very short period.
             
 

Date created : 2011-05-17

  • FRANCE - USA

    IMF chief jailed at New York’s Rikers Island

    Read more

  • ECONOMY

    IMF names interim head after Strauss-Kahn’s arrest

    Read more

COMMENT(S)