Europe needs to find candidate to head IMF – France

Europe needs to find candidate to head IMF - France
Europe needs to find candidate to head IMF - France

European financeministers need to find a compromise candidate to replace Christine Lagarde asthe head of the International Monetary Fund, French Finance Minister Bruno LeMaire said on Saturday.

European leaders nominated Lagarde last week to succeed Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank, raising the question of who would in turn replace her at the IMF.

Speaking on thesidelines of an economics and business conference in southern France, Le Mairesaid that European finance ministers would discuss the issue at a meeting inBrussels on Tuesday.

"We need to find a compromise at the European level… I hope that we will find a compromise about the best candidate, the best European candidate for the IMF," he told journalists.

"If we have a good European candidate we might have a good candidate for the IMF," he added in response to a question about whether Bank of England governor Mark Carney could be fielded as Europe's candidate.

Though born andraised in Canada, Carney, who is also a former governor of the Bank of Canada,holds British and Irish passports in addition to his Canadian citizenship.

A French officialsaid that Le Maire was due to discuss the issue with President Emmanuel Macronthis weekend and that he was likely to speak with Carney beforehand.

France was awarethat support was building for Carney, the official added, saying that if Parisdecided to back him it would be sooner rather than later.

However, there isconcern about the precedent backing Carney would set since he is "basicallya Canadian" even though he is highly regarded, the official said.

Traditionally theWashington-based IMF has been led by a European, while its sister institutionthe World Bank has been run by an American. At times, larger emerging marketcountries have sought to disrupt the duopoly with their own candidates.

Given that the World Bank presidency recently went to American David Malpass, the French official said there was no reason why the IMF should not go to a European again.

Other Europeans "well considered" in Paris for the IMF job include EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and former Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the official said. Le Maire ruled himself out for the IMF job on Friday, telling BFM TV in an interview that he intended to stay at the French finance ministry for the five years of President Emmanuel Macron's mandate

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