Lagarde 'to take IMF charm offensive to India'
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is to visit India as part of a tour to drum up support for her bid to become the next IMF chief, French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said Friday.
"There is a sign of the importance of India for France: Christine Lagarde will begin her campaign for the IMF in India," Longuet told reporters in New Delhi.
He did not say when she would visit and the French ambassador to India, Jerome Bonnafont, later clarified to AFP that New Delhi would be among the first stops on a global tour, but would not necessarily be the start.
"The itinerary is still being worked out," he said.
Five top emerging powers -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- have complained that the IMF job should not automatically go to a European, as IMF tradition dictates.
A source close to Lagarde told AFP on Thursday that she was planning to travel on a charm offensive to emerging economic powers such as China and Brazil.
The managing director position at the International Monetary Fund is vacant after the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is on bail in the United States awaiting trial for attempted rape.
European countries now consider that Lagarde's appointment as the next head of the IMF is a done deal after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed her candidacy, a European official told AFP at the G8 summit.
© 2011 AFP