A former French finance minister has the inside track to become the next chief of the IMF. EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels today settled on Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a Socialist who served in the cabinet of Francois Mitterrand. The choice was another coup for Nicolas Sarkozy, who managed at once to remove a political rival and place a Frenchman at the helm of the IMF.
The British were less thrilled; they had pushed to open up the nominating process to other members, ending the tradition that the US chooses the head of the World Bank and the EU the IMF. The Times of London calls Strauss-Kahn a pro-market modernizer who's not afraid to challenge Socialist sacred cows like the 35-hour work week.