K-W out

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Tue Mar 7 06:09:12 PST 2000

Dow Jones Newswire - March 7, 2000

Koch-Weser Withdraws Candidacy for IMF Post

BERLIN -- German Deputy Finance Minister Caio Koch-Weser said Tuesday he's withdrawing his candidacy to become the next head of the International Monetary Fund.

Mr. Koch-Weser, the European Union's candidate for the job of IMF managing director, said the move is meant to facilitate the search for a candidate that can be broadly supported by IMF members. It follows strong U.S. objections to his candidacy.

"I'm withdrawing my candidacy so as not to stand in the way of better understanding with the United States," Mr. Koch-Weser wrote in a letter he sent to Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder withdrawing his candidacy.

Meanwhile, Horst Koehler, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, confirmed Tuesday that he has been approached by Mr. Schroeder to be a candidate for the post of managing director. In a statement, Mr. Koehler said he would consider the IMF post if a majority of shareholders in the IMF backed his candidacy.

Mr. Koch-Weser, a 25-year World Bank veteran, had been considered unlikely to make the reforms of taking the IMF in a more streamlined direction.

Still, just over the weekend, Mr. Schroeder met in Portugal with the current president of the European Union, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, and they reaffirmed their support of the candidate.

The White House had said it wants to stick to the tradition that the IMF post go to a European -- and even a German if possible -- but that it did not believe Mr. Koch-Weser had enough experience or political clout. President Clinton had urged the EU to nominate someone else.

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