France: IMF head should be from Europe

On Saturday, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters, on the sidelines of an economics and business conference in southern France, that European finance ministers need to find a good candidate from Europe to replace Christine Lagarde as the head of the International Monetary Fund.

Le Maire told journalist,“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.”

When asked about the possibility of a non-European becoming the managing head of the organization, Le Maire said: “No. I am a European, so I think that it is in the interests of Europe to keep the leadership at the IMF.”

In the 73-year long history of IMF, all of its 11 heads were from have Europe, where as World Bank, its sister organization, has been always managed by a US citizen. It looks like a decade-old understanding between the two continents, which is still going on.

The custom has been kept intact, with the recent appointment of David Malpass, an American, as a World Bank president, so Frances emphasizes on IMF top leader to be from Europe.

Le Maire is keen on backing Carney’s candidature for the IMF top job but the only thing which could come in his way is his Canadian citizenship.

When asked if Mark Carney, governor of Bank of England, could be nominated as Europe’s candidate, Le Maire said, “If we have a good European candidate we might have a good candidate for the IMF.”

Carney was born and brought up in Canada and also hold British and Irish passports in addition to his Canadian citizenship.

Besides Carney, other Europeans candidates to be considered for the IMF lead role include EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and former Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

It was told that the European finance ministers would discuss the issue on Tuesday at a meeting in Brussels.

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