FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Thursday took himself out of contention for the top job at the International Monetary Fund after a German magazine reported that France was lobbying hard for him to take the role.
Asked about the French lobbying and whether he would be willing to become IMF chief, Draghi told a news conference: “No, I don’t think so. I’m very honoured by that but I’m not available, so it’s not an issue.”
Germany’s WirtschaftschaftsWoche cited diplomatic sources as saying that Paris was lobbying European Union member states on installing Draghi as IMF head.
IMF rules require candidates for the post of managing director to be less than 65 years old. Draghi is 71.
Draghi’s term as ECB president is due to end on Oct. 31 and IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been nominated to succeed him. Earlier on Thursday, the ECB said it had “no objection” to Lagarde becoming its new president, saying she has the experience required for the job. [S8N23R01K]
Lagarde said in a statement earlier this month that her resignation as IMF head was effective Sept. 12. A search is now underway for her successor, which is likely to be another European.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Paul Carrel)