IMF’s Georgieva wins some European backing as board debates her future

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WASHINGTON (Businesshala) – Some European governments backed Kristalina Georgieva to remain managing director of the International Monetary Fund on Friday as the IMF board debated her alleged role in the World Bank’s data-rigging scandal, people said. Familiar people said.

FILE PHOTO: World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva speaks at the annual session of the China Development Forum (CDF) 2018 at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China March 25, 2018. Businesshala/Jason Lee/File photo

A source in the French finance ministry told Businesshala that France plans to voice its support for Georgieva at the board meeting. Britain, Germany and Italy were also expected to support Georgieva, another source with knowledge of the matter said.

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Officials at the French, British and German embassies in Washington did not immediately comment. The Italian embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But hopes for the board to quickly reach consensus on its future at the global crisis lender appeared to be fading amid uncertainty over the US position. The meeting of the IMF Executive Board went on for hours behind closed doors.

Some officials wanted more time to review discrepancies between documents and accounts by the Georgieva and Wilmerhall law firm, people familiar with the effort said.

Wilmerhalle’s investigation report prepared for the World Bank board Here It alleged that when Georgieva was chief executive of the World Bank in 2017, she applied “undue pressure” on bank employees to make data changes in the major “Doing Business” report to boost China’s business-climate rankings.

The IMF board was reviewing the claims and this week conducted lengthy interviews with lawyers for both Georgieva and Wilmerhall.

Georgieva has vehemently denied Here blame. His lawyer claimed here that the Wilmerhall investigation violated World Bank staff regulations, which did not give him a chance to respond to the allegations, a claim that Wilmerhall disputes.

voice support

Georgieva has also received a statement of support Here African Finance Ministers.

But the US Treasury, a key force of the IMF, declined to comment on Friday.

Treasury spokeswoman Alexandra Lamanna said earlier this week that the department has “emphasized for a thorough and fair accounting of all facts” in the ongoing review. “Our primary responsibility is to maintain the integrity of international financial institutions,” she said.

The IMF chief is traditionally elected by European governments, with the US administration nominating the president of the World Bank.

In 2019 France backed Bulgarian economist Georgieva, who has held senior positions at the European Commission, as a compromise candidate to break the impasse over the successor to European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.

annual meeting cloud

The IMF board deliberations took place as the fund prepares for its biggest policy event next week, the IMF and World Bank annual meeting in Washington. This issue is expected to dominate the meeting.

Current and former employees of both institutions said the scandal had tarnished their research reputation here, regardless of who was to blame for the altered data, raising important questions over whether the work was subject to member state influence. Is.

Anne Krueger, former chief economist of the World Bank and first deputy managing director of the IMF, argued in a blog post on Thursday Here That Georgieva would have to step down to restore the credibility of the fund.

“Should Georgieva remain in her position, she and her staff will certainly be pressured to change the data and rankings of other countries,” Krueger wrote. “And even if they protest, the reports they will present will be questionable. The work of the entire institute will be devalued.”

Reporting by David Lauder and Andrea Schallal in Washington; Additional reporting by Leigh Thomas in Paris and Bart Meijer in Amsterdam; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Cynthia Osterman

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