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Business

Germany, France Want European IMF Chief

Germany and France have expressed desires for another European to be named head of the International Monetary Fund to replace the departing director, German Horst Köhler, according to Germany's Finance Minister Hans Eichel. "We are agreed that it should once again be a European," he said at a news conference during a visit with French Finance Minister Francis Mer. The job of leading the IMF is traditionally held by a European while the top job at the World Bank, the IMF's sister institution, goes to an American. However, the United States can use its voting power to block any candidate deemed unsuitable by the White House. European finance ministries have been busy speculating as to who could take over while IMF directors representing Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia, Switzerland and Russia have proposed ending the European monopoly on the job by demanding that the new candidate be chosen "irrespective of nationality." Köhler is stepping down after four years in the job to stand as a candidate for the German presidency.

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