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Europe

European Set To Head IMF

Rodrigo Rato, former Spanish Finance Minister, is soon expected to be appointed as head of the International Monetary Fund, ending months of wrangling and horse-trading amongst member states.

Rodrigo Rato, former Spanish Finance Minister, is soon expected to be appointed as head of the International Monetary Fund, ending months of wrangling and horse-trading amongst member states. France and Germany had backed another candidate, Frenchman Jean Lemierre, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. But Lemierre recently announced he was staying at the EBRD, opening the way for Rato. New French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has backed Rato, indicating he expected the Spaniard to look after French priorities. An official announcement from the current Irish President of the council of finance ministers, Charlie McCreevy, is expected in the near future. The post, which traditionally goes to a European, will be the second top finance job netted by Spain in a month, after Jose Manual Gonzalez Paramo was appointed to the governing board of the European Central Bank. The position opened following the departure of Germany's Horst Köhler, who left the post to run for the office of federal president. ( EUobserver.com)