Brazil uncommitted on IMF chief: Mantega

25th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Brazil Finance Minister Guido Mantega said his country was not ready to choose between France's Christine Lagarde and Mexico's Agustin Carstens for future IMF managing director.

A day after Brazil's director on the International Monetary Fund executive board joined four other emerging-market economies in calling for an end to Europe's monopoly of the job, Mantega said Brasilia wanted to hear what candidates had to say before deciding.

"I think it is good that their candidacies have been launched, in plural," Mantega stressed.

He said that he had already spoken with both Lagarde, the French finance minister, as well as Mexican central bank governor Carstens.

Carstens "called me requesting our support, and he is going to come here next week," he said.

"The important thing for us are the commitments that the candidates are going to make in relation to the IMF agenda on reform, restructuring, and increased participation of emerging countries," he said.

"A commitment that (the managing director) is not necessarily a European is important."

On Tuesday IMF representatives of the BRICS emerging economic giants -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- lashed out in a statement at the European push to maintain their hold on the job, by dint of a 66-year-old pact with the United States.

"We are concerned with public statements made recently by high-level European officials to the effect that the position of managing director should continue to be occupied by a European," they said.

The 2008-2009 financial crisis in the United States and Europe showed the need to reform institutions like the IMF "to reflect the growing role of developing countries in the world economy," they said.

"This requires abandoning the obsolete unwritten convention that requires that the head of the IMF be necessarily from Europe."

But the five refrained from endorsing any candidate, with the nominating period still open up until June 10.

© 2011 AFP

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