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As French Finance Minister Declares IMF Candidacy, BRIC Countries Cry Foul


French finance minister Christine Lagarde announced her candidacy for the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Wednesday, defying a growing chorus of critics who challenge traditional European leadership.

"It is an immense challenge which I approach with humility and in the hope of achieving the broadest possible consensus," Lagarde told a Paris news conference today. She is widely acclaimed for her communication skills, but is not an economist.

The IMF has emerged as a more prominent organization than in years past, especially with its assistance in the 2008 financial meltdown and its continued assistance with developing countries.

Lagarde's candidacy, however, was not praised in all circles.

According to a Reuters report, "Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa sharply criticized EU officials in a joint statement for suggesting the next International Monetary Fund head should be a European, a convention that dates back to the founding of the global lender at the end of the Second World War."

In a joint statement, they called for "abandoning the obsolete unwritten convention that requires that the head of the IMF be necessarily from Europe."

Still, the BRIC countries have yet to find a common candidate they support. This could leave the door open for Lagarde to make a strong case for the position.

France's government said China would back Lagarde, but the the Chinese Foreign Ministry declined comment.

The IMF is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.


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Posted-In: BRIC Christine Lagarde IMFNews Global Economics