France's Strauss-Kahn only IMF candidate so far

27th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2007 (AFP) - France's Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the European Union choice to head the International Monetary Fund, met with US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Thursday in Washington.

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2007 (AFP) - France's Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the European Union choice to head the International Monetary Fund, met with US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Thursday in Washington.

The IMF earlier said Strauss-Kahn, a Socialist party leader and former French finance minister, remains the only candidate declared to date to succeed Rodrigo Rato at the Washington-based institution.

The Fund is accepting nominations for managing director through August 31.

"Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a strong candidate and I look forward to continuing the dialogue with my counterparts at the fund as the selection process moves toward a conclusion this fall," Paulson said in a statement after their meeting.

Paulson said he discussed with Strauss-Kahn "the vital role" the IMF plays in global monetary cooperation and the importance of pursuing "bold reform to ensure its continued relevance in the global economy."

"It should follow through with fundamental reform of its quota structure, shifting significant weight to dynamic emerging markets," he said.

"It needs to conduct a bottom-up review of the alignment between its existing structure and the fund's role in today's global financial system."

The IMF executive board launched on July 12 its search for a successor to Rato, who announced in late June he was resigning in late October, nearly two years before his term ends.

Three Frenchmen have held the managing director's job for more than 30 of the IMF's 61 years, and a Frenchman also currently heads the World Trade Organization, the European Central Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The board said nominations would be accepted from any of the Fund's 185 members and the successful candidate would be chosen according to merit, without regard to nationality.

In an unwritten agreement, Europe selects the head of the IMF and the United States chooses the president of the World Bank.

Developing countries for years have protested against the tradition and called for open competitions for both posts.

The Group of 24 developing countries, which includes China, India and Brazil, called Monday for advanced nations to respect the IMF decision to seek its next managing director without bias in favor of a European candidate.

Rato's surprise exit comes at a sensitive moment as the IMF struggles to find its bearings amid internal reform launched by Rato himself in 2005 and as more and more countries opt not to borrow from it.

One of the main planks of the reform concerns the financing of the fund, the subject discussed at an executive board meeting on Monday, IMF spokesman Masood Ahmed told reporters.

Directors reached "a broad consensus" on recommendations made in January by a panel of experts, including a proposal that the fund sell part of its gold reserves.

However, there is a "need for additional discussion," Ahmed said.

On the issue of rebalancing powers between developed and emerging countries within the IMF organization, Ahmed said the board on Wednesday asked Rato to make a formal "proposal" before the annual meeting in October.


AFP

Subject: French news

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