European Union Backs German for IMF Post
The European Union stood by German Deputy Finance Minister Caio Koch-Weser and nominated him to be the next head of the International Monetary Fund, even after the U.S. rejected his candidacy. “The EU will use all its weight and influence to support its candidate,” said Manuel Menezes, a spokesman for the EU presidency, currently held by Portugal. An informal poll of the IMF’s 24 executive board members will take place Thursday, said Thomas Bernes, a Canadian who’s on the board. Riccardo Faini, an Italian board member, nominated Koch-Weser at a meeting in the IMF’s Washington headquarters, Bernes said. The White House said Monday it would not back Koch-Weser for the post, saying he lacks “broad support.” That was a potentially fatal blow to the German’s chances and set the stage for a clash with the EU. It also threatened to prolong the search for a replacement for Michel Camdessus, who announced his resignation in November. The U.S. isn’t supporting any particular candidate, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said. The U.S., France and Britain have been lukewarm about Koch-Weser’s candidacy ever since Germany began promoting him. While the U.S. doesn’t have veto power over the selection process, it has 18% of the IMF executive board’s vote, by far the most of any member.