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Italy opposes French bid to head IMF

ROME, March 30 (AFP) – Italy made clear on Tuesday that it opposes a bid by France to hold the next presidency of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the grounds that a Frenchman already holds the top job at the European Central Bank.

“France already heads the ECB. Wouldn’t it be a bit much for it also to have the presidency of the IMF?” Italy’s European Affairs Minister Rocco Buttiglione told reporters in Rome.

Buttiglione said he favoured Italy’s EU Commissioner for Competition Mario Monti, a name which has circulated in Italy since Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced last week that he had an Italian candidate in mind for the job.

“Monti has a good name, because he knows how to play his cards. It would mean prestige for Italy” if he was nominated, the minister said.

Frenchman Jean Lemierre, head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, is widely being tipped as the front runner to succeed Germany’s Horst Koehler as the IMF’s managing director.

Another Frenchman, Jean-Claude Trichet, heads the ECB.


                                               Subject: French news