The next head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde has lost no time in calling on Greek politicians to back reforms.
Within an hour of the official announcement of her appointment, the French finance minister went on TV to urge Greek MPs to pass an austerity plan to rein in the country’s deficit.
“I have one message to get through tonight concerning Greece. It’s an appeal to the Greek political opposition to join the party in power in a national agreement. It’s really about the destiny of a country, of its security and I think that right now it’s time to put aside small or large political differences,” Christine Lagarde said on France’s main private channel TF1.
Supporters say Lagarde will have the necessary clout at the IMF to press indebted euro zone states into delivering on budget reforms.
She will start her new job in July, two months after the departure of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who will defend himself in a US court against charges he sexually assaulted a hotel chambermaid.
Lagarde says she is glad to become the first woman to run the IMF. Noting that all 24 members of the executive board that appointed her were men, she says it is good that “things will change a little”.