Development Bank Names New President

Uruguayan Foreign Minister Enrique Iglesias has been elected president of the strife-ridden Inter-American Development Bank.

The development agency said he was named to the post by acclamation following the withdrawal of the nomination of Jaime Garcia Parra, a former Colombian finance minister.

Iglesias, an executive with broad experience in banking and international economics, succeeds Antonio Ortiz Mena, a Mexican national who resigned from the bank after 17 years as its head.

Iglesias takes over the bank at one of its most difficult periods in years. A deep dispute between the United States, the largest shareholder, and the Latin countries over loan approval procedures has led to a breakdown in discussions on a needed capital infusion for the agency.


The Reagan Administration has charged that the bank is badly managed and that its loans are sometimes not based on economic considerations.

Prior to becoming foreign minister for his country, Iglesias had been executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The 57-year-old official was born in Spain and is a naturalized Uruguayan citizen.

Bank sources said it was expected that the agency would quickly move to discuss an expansion of the bank’s capital after Iglesias takes office April 1.

The sources said it was unlikely that Iglesias would have accepted the post without assurances that the difficult issues dividing the Reagan Administration and the Latin countries could be quickly dealt with.

The bank makes development assistance loans available to Latin America and recently has been moving to tie its funds to reform measures in the financially hard-pressed region.

In the past, the United States has sought a virtual veto over bank loans to Latin America, arguing that the so-called donor countries do not have sufficient say over lending policy.