Schroeder assures Bush ofhis backing for Wolfowitz

21st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 March 2005, BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Monday said he assured US President George W. Bush of Berlin's backing for the US administration's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as the next president of the World Bank.

21 March 2005

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Monday said he assured US President George W. Bush of Berlin's backing for the US administration's nomination of Paul Wolfowitz as the next president of the World Bank.

Interviewed on German television, Schroeder said he had phoned Bush to inform him that the German government would support the controversial nomination.

Addressing criticism of Wolfowitz's neo-conservative politics, Schroeder told N-TV television: "People could be pleasantly surprised by his performance as the future World Bank head."

Schroeder's comments come before a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday of European Union finance ministers to discuss the Wolfowitz nomination.

The discussions will take place on the sidelines of a summit of EU leaders which will focus on stability pact reform and the bloc's growth and jobs generation agenda.

The nomination of the current US deputy secretary of defence and a key architect of the Iraq war to the key global development post has caused shockwaves in Brussels, with development specialists voicing alarm at Washington's choice.

Separately, Europe's independent aid agencies and charities have described Wolfowitz as a "very controversial choice".

The European Commission has reacted cautiously to the nomination, with Development Commissioner Louis Michel saying the World Bank head must be "a man who focuses on the bank's main task, which is poverty alleviation".

The Commission works closely with the World Bank on development projects around the world.

Traditionally the US chooses the World Bank chief and Europe selects the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

DPA

Subject: German news

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