EU lawmakers push for resignation of Wolfowitz

26th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 April 2007, Strasbourg (dpa) - European Union lawmakers on Wednesday urged EU and US leaders to demand the resignation of embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. The move is the EU's first official call for Wolfowitz to step down as head of the global development lender. Current EU president Germany and the US government should "signal ... Wolfowitz that his withdrawal from the post would be a welcome step towards preventing the bank's anti-corruption policy from being undermined," members of the

26 April 2007

Strasbourg (dpa) - European Union lawmakers on Wednesday urged EU and US leaders to demand the resignation of embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz.

The move is the EU's first official call for Wolfowitz to step down as head of the global development lender.

Current EU president Germany and the US government should "signal ... Wolfowitz that his withdrawal from the post would be a welcome step towards preventing the bank's anti-corruption policy from being undermined," members of the European Parliament said in a joint resolution.

Despite mounting international pressure over alleged favouritism for his girlfriend, Wolfowitz is clinging tightly to his job.

The World Bank chief has come under fire for having broken or bent bank rules when he arranged a lucrative pay and promotion deal for his companion, Shaha Riza, when she moved to the US State Department.

"By digging in his heels and refusing to resign as president of the World Bank, Wolfowitz is dragging the whole organization into disrepute and further undermining the credibility of its anti- corruption policy," British Green MEP Caroline Lucas said.

"If he won't jump himself, he must be pushed," she added. The European Commission last week said that the EU was closely monitoring accusations swirling around Wolfowitz, given the World Bank's key role as a development agency.

The World Bank and the EU are working closely together to help African nations fight poverty. Both agencies have also recently put the focus on fighting corruption and encouraging good governance.

Ministers from a number of European countries have raised concerns about the affair but none has publicly called for the dismissal of Wolfowitz.

Wolfowitz, formerly US deputy secretary of defence, was nominated by US President George W Bush as head of the World Bank in mid-2005.

Riza, a communications adviser, was lent out to the US State Department to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

The bank's staff association says Riza's raise to 193,590 dollars a year was twice as large as staff rules allow. To make up for a perceived career setback, Wolfowitz also personally ordered a generous promise of future promotions.

DPA

Subject: German news

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