Merkel wants Europe to stay in charge of IMF

16th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Europe should remain in charge of the IMF if the arrested current head Dominique Strauss-Kahn were to resign.

Merkel stressed, however, that Strauss-Kahn should be considered innocent until US judicial authorities had ruled on charges that he had tried to rape a hotel maid in New York.

"It's important not to voice any suppositions of guilt", Merkel told a press conference, adding that she would not comment further on the case.

"We know that in the medium term emerging countries will have a good claim to the chairmanship of the IMF and World Bank," she said.

"But in the current situation, there are good reasons to say that Europe has good candidates" to replace Strauss-Kahn at the head of the International Monetary Fund if he were to step down, she added.

Germany would like another European to replace Strauss-Kahn if he resigns, Germany's government spokesman Steffen Seibert told journalists shortly before Merkel spoke.

"Europe doesn't have a right to the director's chair, that's obvious. But in the current situation when the IMF is especially needed to fight the crisis in some euro states, the German government sees good reasons why there should be a good European candidate" to take over from Strauss-Kahn, Seibert said.

Should Strauss-Kahn be forced to resign "Germany would make this clear to its international partners," he added.

In the meantime, Berlin expects "the IMF to continue to play its role to the full," Seibert added.

Asked if Germany might endorse Mario Draghi, the current Italian central bank chief, as successor to Strauss-Kahn, Seibert said the German government wanted to see Draghi take over as European Central Bank president.

"The German government, along with other European governments, has spoken out in favour of Draghi taking over as head of the ECB should he decide to apply for the job, and it remains of this opinion," Seibert said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week she was in favour of Draghi replacing Jean-Claude Trichet of France as ECB chief.

Draghi is set to be appointed the next president of the European Central Bank by eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels Monday, at a pivotal point in the eurozone debt crisis.

© 2011 AFP

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