Sarkozy considering socialists to head IMF

6th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 6, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy may soon decide to back either Dominique Strauss-Kahn or Laurent Fabius, both former Socialist ministers, to head the International Monetary Fund, a spokesman said Friday.

PARIS, July 6, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy may soon decide to back either Dominique Strauss-Kahn or Laurent Fabius, both former Socialist ministers, to head the International Monetary Fund, a spokesman said Friday.

Sarkozy spokesman David Martinon, asked by a reporter if the president would support either of their candidacies, replied: "These are two men of quality. The president of the republic will answer this question in the coming days."

Strauss-Kahn and Fabius have both served as ministers of finance. Fabius in addition is a former prime minister. Both men recently resigned from the Socialist Party's political secretariat.

The current head of the IMF, Rodrigo Rato of Spain, last week surprised IMF-watchers with an announcement that he would resign in October as IMF managing director, two years before his mandate is to expire.

Rato cited personal reasons for his decision.

By tradition, the post of IMF managing director is reserved for a European while the presidency of the IMF's sister institution, the World Bank, goes to an American.

Developing countries have for years protested in vain against the practice and have called for an open competition for both posts.

Fabius had been a candidate to lead the IMF in 2000. But analysts said his fierce opposition to a proposed European Union constitution, which French voters turned down in a referendum in 2005, could today dampen his chances of winning the backing of France's EU partners.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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