Thursday 22 August 2019

World Bank's Georgieva added to list of EU candidates to head up IMF


Christine Lagarde. Photo: Peter Nicholls/PA
Christine Lagarde. Photo: Peter Nicholls/PA

Francesco Guarascio

EU governments are working to select one European candidate from a list of five names to succeed Christine Lagarde at the helm of the International Monetary Fund, a French official said on Friday.

Bulgaria's Kristalina Georgieva, chief executive of the World Bank, has been added to a list of four names that were discussed by EU finance ministers at a G7 meeting last week, the official said.

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France is leading the selection process for a European candidate. The managing directors of the Washington-based IMF have so far always been European, under a deal with the US that gives the presidency of the World Bank to a US candidate. In addition to Georgieva, the other European candidates under consideration at this stage are Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch former head of eurozone finance ministers; Spanish economy minister Nadia Calvino; Mario Centeno, the Portuguese chairman of eurozone finance ministers; and Finnish central bank governor Olli Rehn.

EU governments remain split, with northern countries preferring Dijsselbloem or Rehn, and southern states pushing for Calvino or Centeno, a European official said. Georgieva, 65, is likely to have the support of eastern European countries, but her candidacy would need a change in the IMF's rules, which require candidates for the post of managing director to be less than 65 years old.


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