France's Finance Minister Announces Bid to Head IMF

Christine Lagarde will seek to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2011 6:09 AM CDT
France's Finance and Economy Minister Christine Lagarde is seen during the ringing of the opening bell at the Paris Euronext opening day Tuesday, May 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

(Newser) – French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, considered the frontrunner to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the IMF, announced today she does in fact want the job. Lagarde is backed by many European countries including Germany and Britain. Yesterday, developing nations issued a statement urging the IMF to abandon its longtime practice of giving a European the top job, but they have not rallied around a candidate. The IMF board is expected to make a decision by the end of June, the AP reports.

Lagarde, 55, spent much of her career at a law firm in the US and has a reputation for being skilled at international negotiations. She played an integral role in negotiating rescue plans between the IMF and the European Union for debt crises in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. Though she has a nearly immaculate image, there are questions about her role in getting arbitration for a French businessman in 2008 and an investigation could be opened.

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