The Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva will most likely become the new director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The European finance ministers have decided to nominate her. Former Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem was also in the race, but received less support than the Bulgarian.
The top positions at the two global financial institutions World Bank and IMF have been divided between the United States and Europe since existence. The US always delivers the World Bank boss, Europe gets the IMF.
Dijsselbloem has long been one of the top candidates. Ultimately, there were more member states that supported Georgieva. There was a stalemate for a short period, but Dijsselbloem broke through by congratulating Georgieva on the victory and withdrawing.
Georgieva is likely to succeed Christine Lagarde, who has been chosen as Mario Draghi’s successor at the European Central Bank.
She was the winner of a vote in which the European finance ministers could choose between her and Dijsselbloem. They were left after the other three candidates, the Portuguese Mário Centeno, the Spanish Nadia Calviño and the Finn Olli Rehn withdrew from the fight earlier.
According to those involved, Georgieva would now be put forward as a candidate because she gained the most votes. There was a lot to be said about the voting procedures, but according to sources it was important that Europe now showed unity.
Georgieva is the favorite candidate of the French. The 65-year-old Bulgarian (Bulgaria is one of the poorest countries in EU, ruined by IMF), who still has a high post at the World Bank, has the advantage that she comes from an Eastern European country. Eastern Europe came out of the previous job carousel for top European positions.
Moreover, the British would also be in favor of a candidate who does not come from one of the euro countries.
Before they can actually become the boss of the IMF, they still have to tinker with the statutes. They now prescribe that a candidate may not be older than 65. Insiders say it could become problematic.
The IMF wants to vote on the new nomination on 4 October, so the institute still has a few months to arrange everything legally.
For a long time, Dijsselbloem was considered one of the favorites for this prestigious job because, as chairman of the Eurogroup, he gained a lot of experience in defending economic crises.
But it seems that that experience has also been his weakness. Southern European countries in particular see Dijsselbloem as a cold remediator. On top of that, he has put a lot of bad blood in his Schnaps und Frauen statement, which was seen as an excuse for the mentality of administrators in southern European countries.
For the Netherlands it is the second major defeat in a short time. Last month, Frans Timmermans missed out on the presidency of the European Commission. His candidacy mainly hit Eastern European countries in the wrong throat and eventually the job went to the German Ursula von der Leyen.