Sweden plays up Lagarde IMF merits

19th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Sweden on Thursday praised the strengths of French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as a possible successor to Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the head of the International Monetary Fund.

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg said that if it was too early to take a formal position, he had been very impressed by Lagarde, seen as a key member of the current French government.

"One person whose name has come up is that of French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and I must say that she has made a very good impression on me," Borg told SR public radio.

"She has been a real driving force in (the European Union finance ministers group) and she has been very important in the work of the Group of 20 -- she has the influence and the experience," he said.

Borg also noted that the possibility of having a woman at the IMF helm was another positive point for Lagarde.

Earlier, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that Strauss-Kahn, who resigned on Thursday as head of the IMF amid sexual assault charges, had been a great asset to the world during the global financial crisis,

"It should be said that DSK served the world with great distinction during a most critical period," Bildt said on his official Twitter account, stressing that finding the right "successor will be important."

Borg also noted that Europe, the biggest contributor to IMF funds, should again claim the top job, as developing countries including China voiced hopes that someone from the emerging economies be considered.

Europe has traditionally suppled the head of the IMF while the United States names the World Bank chief, the two bodies set up after World War II to help guide the global economy.

© 2011 AFP

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