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France's Lagarde throws hat into IMF ring

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France's Lagarde throws hat into IMF ring


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.”

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