MEPs and the Commission back Christine Lagarde's candidacy for IMF head - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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MEPs and the Commission back Christine Lagarde's candidacy for IMF head

Tuesday, 7 June 2011
MEPs have today voiced their support for French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s candidature for the recently vacated position as head of the International Monetary Fund.

The position has traditionally been awarded to a European, with an American given the head of the World Bank position, but this year developing and emerging economies are pushing for the position to be awarded to a candidate from outside of Europe’s borders.

However, Ms Lagarde, who speaks near-perfect English, remains the leading candidate and favourite for the job, and has also received the support of the European Commission. In a statement delivered before MEPs meeting in Strasbourg for their June plenary session, the Economic Commissioner Olli Rehn told MEPs that the Commission would back her bid, saying she had "demonstrated global leadership" during France's presidency of the G20 and possessed “strong knowledge" of the EU's economies and decision-making bodies.

MEPs from all sides of the house then rose to speak in the short debate held last night and affirm her candidature and Europe’s influence in the global finance body. That is all except UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who instead spoke out against Ms Lararde's candidacy, describing her as a "Eurofanatic" and a "highly unsuitable candidate". [Footage of the debate below from BBC Democracy Live].

But she can count on the support of South West Conservative MEP Julie Girling. Appearing on Sky New’s Press Review two weeks previously, she said: “In Brussels [she is] certainly very well regarded, a great polyglot, and I admire her.

Forget the politics, she is a strong, powerful, and influential woman and I’d like, from that point of view, to see Christine get a good shot at this.[…] I think she’d be really good for this.


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