Merkel calls for objective look at IMF succession
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was highly qualified for the top post of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), urging emerging countries to give her an unbiased appraisal, dpa reported.
Lagarde, 55, hopes to replace her fellow countryman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as the IMF's head last month after being charged with a sexual assault on a housekeeper at a New York hotel.
"If I look at the personality, Christine Lagarde as a finance minister enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide," Merkel told a forum in Singapore.
"In many ways she is an ideal embodiment of economic experience and political experience," said the German leader, who was on a two-day visit to the city-state.
"I hope that emerging countries and other countries will take a close look and, if you like, an objective and unbiased look at her even though obviously they too have to have a chance," said Merkel, addressing the forum through an interpreter.
In the long run, however, it was not acceptable to maintain the automatic arrangement that a European head the IMF and an American led the World Bank, she said.
But as the IMF was deeply involved in euro matters, "there could be good reasons for not saying right away that a European candidate is out of the question," said Merkel.