French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has joined the race to head the International Monetary Fund.
Despite anger among big emerging economies over Europe’s stranglehold on the job, the 55-year-old appears to be the overwhelming favourite to replace her compatriot, Dominic Strauss-Kahn. She has the unanimous backing of the European Union’s 27 member states.
The US is also said to favour her appointment and with emerging countries failing to unite behind a single candidate, that could leave the way clear.
Speaking to euronews, Dries Lesage from the Global Governance Research Group at Ghent University said: “At G20 level, in the course of 2009, world leaders had agreed the next head of the IMF after Strauss-Kahn should not be a European, and the fact that Europeans, now again, insist upon the fact that it should be a European, is quite a painful message towards the emerging economies and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). I can imagine that the US administration is in a quite awkward position now. Engaging the emerging economies and the BRICS, in particular, was really on America’s agenda.”