labels: international monetary fund, banks & institutions
IMF opens top job to all as EU names Dominique Strauss-Kahn as new chiefnews
10 July 2007

Mumbai: The IMF board said any country could nominate a candidate to succeed IMF managing director Rodrigo Rato, throwing open to worldwide competition a job customarily given to Europeans, even as the European Union chose France''s Dominique Strauss-Kahn to head the International Monetary Fund.

Europe will support Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, after Spain''s Rodrigo Rato steps down in October, Portugal, which leads the talks among all 27 EU nations, said.

Traditionally, Europe and the US share top jobs at the world''s two major financial institutions, with the EU picking the head of the IMF and the US choosing the World Bank chief.

"Any executive director may submit a nomination, regardless of nationality, for the position, consistent with past practice," the board of IMF shareholder nations said in a statement, as some European countries pushed to maintain a tradition of selecting the head of the institution.

The 24-member IMF board, which is made up of the fund''s member countries, including Europeans, said it would meet at a later date to finalise the selection procedure.

"Directors will meet again to finalise the selection procedure expeditiously to ensure a timely decision in an open and transparent manner," the board said.

Developing nations are challenging the custom whereby Europeans head the IMF and an American leads its sister organisation, the World Bank.

Earlier, French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched a drive to nominate former Socialist Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Khan to run the IMF, but Britain said the post does not necessarily have to be filled by a European.


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IMF opens top job to all as EU names Dominique Strauss-Kahn as new chief