France calls for World Bank meeting on Wolfowitz

9th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 9, 2007 (AFP) - France on Wednesday called for an urgent meeting of the World Bank board of directors to decide the fate of bank president Paul Wolfowitz accused of nepotism, the foreign ministry said.

PARIS, May 9, 2007 (AFP) - France on Wednesday called for an urgent meeting of the World Bank board of directors to decide the fate of bank president Paul Wolfowitz accused of nepotism, the foreign ministry said.

A World Bank ethics panel found Wolfowitz breached bank rules after nearly a month of controversy following revelations of the lavish salary and benefits he arranged for his companion and bank colleague.

"We would want the board of directors to meet swiftly to decide based on this report and on statements from Mr Wolfowitz," said foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei.

The United States said it supported Wolfowitz but White House spokesman Tony Snow declined to tell reporters whether Washington was insisting that Wolfowitz should keep his job.

The US State Department complained the scandal could undermine the bank's critical mission to help the poor.

France, which is one of the 24 members of the World Bank's board of directors, said that an "ordered, fair and rigorous" procedure should follow the recommendations of the ethics panel.

"Our concern is to ensure the proper functioning of the World Bank in the framework of its mission to promote development and the struggle against poverty," said the foreign ministry spokesman.

Wolfowitz, 63, is accused of improperly orchestrating a promotion and a pay raise for his companion, Shaha Riza, a fellow bank employee, after taking the helm of the multilateral bank in June 2005 promising to clean up corruption in borrower nations.

Bank rules prohibit managers from supervising employees with whom they have such a relationship.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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