G8 backs Christine Lagarde as candidate for head of IMF
Summary from Reuters, May 30, 2011
All G8 leaders have backed French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s bid to run the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Sunday.
The news came as Lagarde attacked a call to investigate her role in a 2008 legal case that may harm her chances of taking up the job.
“Among the eight heads of state and government, plus the president of the European Commission and the president of the European Council who were there, there was unanimous support for Christine Lagarde,” Juppe said on Canal+ television.
The job became vacant after Dominique Strauss-Kahn quit over attempted rape charges in New York, which he has vowed to fight (see WVoN story).
The main obstacle facing Lagarde’s bid is the possibility of an inquiry into her role in a 2008 legal settlement involving paying €285 million (£247.5 million) to businessman Bernard Tapie, an ally of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Opposition Socialist Party politicians have accused Lagarde of abusing her authority when she awarded the money to Tapie.
Lagarde, in an interview with Europe 1 Radio, questioned the legal and factual basis of the public prosecutor’s call for a formal inquiry into her role in the Tapie case.
She has said her conscience is clear.
Lagarde flies to Brazil on Sunday to drum up key emerging economy support for her IMF bid.
The only other declared candidate is Mexican Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens.