Britain proposes Christine Lagarde as next IMF chief

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Christine Lagarde
London, May 22: Keeping up with the trend of having a westerner at the top of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Britain has endorsed Christine Lagarde, Finance Minister of France as an "outstanding candidate" for the job. The IMF has been nothing short of an European fiefdom since its inception at the end of the second World War, as almost every other occupant of its top job belonged to the continent.

George Osborne, the British finance minister in a statement said, "We support her(Lagarde) because she's the best person for the job, but I also personally think it would be a very good thing to see the first female managing director of the IMF in its 60-year history."

He added, "She's shown real international leadership as chair of the G20 finance ministers this year. She has also been a strong advocate for countries tackling high budget deficits and living within their means."

The announcement from Osborne, is the first official one about Strauss-Kahn's successor from a G7 country. And coming from Britain, it has certainly been surprising as a few weeks ago, David Cameron, the country's Prime Minister had said that the rise of nations like India and China meant, "it may well be time actually to have a candidate from another part of the world."

Meanwhile, it is being reported that developing countries mainly the Asian ones are using their enhanced clouts to keep pressure on Europe and the USA to avoid a backroom deal over the appointment.

It is also worth recollecting that Strauss-Kahn, who occupied the IMF top job until recently and was a possible candidate for French President's job was forced to step down after a maid in Manhattan accused him of sexual abuse. Since then a string of his sexual misadventures are coming to the fore.

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