Germany wants European to head IMF if Strauss-Kahn goes

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Germany would like another European to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn if the current head of the IMF were to resign, Germany's government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday.

"Europe doesn't have a right to the director's chair, that's obvious. But in the current situation when the IMF is especially needed to fight the crisis in some euro states, the German government sees good reasons why there should be a good European candidate" to take over from Strauss-Kahn, Seibert told a press conference.

Should Strauss-Kahn be forced to resign "Germany would make this clear to its international partners," he added.

Strauss-Kahn, a former French minister, was arrested this weekend in New York for allegedly trying to rape a hotel maid.

Seibert stressed that the case now rested with New York justice officials, adding that the International Monetary Fund chief should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

In the meantime, Berlin expects "the IMF to continue to play its role to the full," Seibert added.

Asked if Germany might endorse Mario Draghi, the current Italian central bank chief, as successor to Strauss-Kahn, Seibert said the German government wanted to see Draghi take over as European Central Bank president.

"The German government, along with other European governments, has spoken out in favour of Draghi taking over as head of the ECB should he decide to apply for the job, and it remains of this opinion," Seibert said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week she was in favour of Draghi replacing Jean-Claude Trichet of France as ECB chief.

Draghi is set to be appointed the next president of the European Central Bank by eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels Monday, at a pivotal point in the eurozone debt crisis.

© 2011 AFP

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