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Lagarde favourite for IMF leadership race

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Lagarde favourite for IMF leadership race

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French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is the focus of much media speculation that she is the top candidate to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund, but would say nothing about that as she arrived from a G20 gathering in Paris on Monday.

But there are calls for a non European to head to the lender which provides billions in loans to stabilise the world economy:

Angel Guria, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said:

“Whoever is appointed has to be based strictly on merit, not on where they are coming from. They should be no automatic exclusion, and no automatic inclusion. That’s it.”

There will be competition, with Mexico nominating its central bank chief Agustin Carstens.

Australia and South Africa’s finance ministers have criticised the tradition of the IMF leadership going to Europe as out of date.

But European powers are closing ranks behind Lagarde as their regional pick, stressing it’s crucial the next IMF head has knowledge of Europe.