Europe challenge needs strong IMF leader: US

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
© AFP/Getty Images/File Mark Wilson


WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Monday that challenges like Europe’s crisis meant the IMF needed a strong leader, though he resisted endorsing one of the two candidates.

Geithner praised the process to choose a new executive director for the International Monetary fund — with a decision expected Tuesday — as “open”, despite criticism that it remains opaque, with behind-the-scenes dealing assuring the job will go to French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.

“I do think we’re on the verge of having what I thought was necessary — which is an open, contested process, two excellent candidates, quick resolution,” Geithner told reporters.

“I’m sure we’re on the verge of having somebody emerge that will come in very well-supported,” he said.

“And that’s very important because this institution faces a lot of challenges, not least in Europe, and it’s a time we need strong leadership.”

Lagarde faces Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens in the battle to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned May 18 to fight charges of sexual assault in New York.

Deeply worried over the fragile bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, Europe has forcefully pushed for Lagarde, against frustration among emerging economies over Europe’s 65-year monopoly on the position.

© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license

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