The EU has narrowed its field of candidates to replace Christine Lagarde at the IMF to three names as European negotiators rush to secure a consensus on who should be the next managing director.
On Friday, the French finance ministry, which is leading negotiations on behalf of the EU, shortlisted five European names for the job but failed to reach a consensus on any candidate.
Of the five, Mário Centeno, Portugal’s current eurogroup chair, and Nadia Calviño, Spain’s finance minister, have been ruled out, according to two senior officials briefed by French negotiators. That left Jeroen Dijsselbloem, former Dutch finance minister, Kristalina Georgieva, Bulgarian chief executive of the World Bank, and Olli Rehn, Finland’s central bank chief, still in the race.
据听取了法国谈判代表简报的两位高级官员透露，在这五人中，葡萄牙人、现任欧元集团(Eurogroup)主席马里奥•森特诺(Mário Centeno)，以及西班牙经济大臣纳迪娅•卡尔维尼奥(Nadia Calviño)，已被排除。剩下的三名候选人是荷兰前财政大臣耶霍恩•戴塞尔布卢姆(Jeroen Dijsselbloem)；保加利亚人、世界银行(World Bank)首席执行官克里斯塔利娜•格奥尔基耶娃(Kristalina Georgieva)；以及芬兰央行行长奥利•雷恩(Olli Rehn)。
The French finance ministry denied that a decision had already been made. “Consultations are ongoing,” said a spokesperson for Bruno Le Maire, finance minister.
法国财政部否认已作出决定。“磋商正在进行中，”财长布鲁诺•勒梅尔(Bruno Le Maire)的发言人表示。
The IMF has set a deadline of early September for nominations. European negotiators have been spurred into action to find a replacement for Ms Lagarde wary that a failure to agree on a candidate will introduce rivals for the position from large emerging markets.
European nationals have dominated the leadership of the fund as part of an informal agreement where a US national takes the helm at the World Bank. The process to select the next managing director is expected to be completed on October 4. The vacancy has provoked a flurry of backroom diplomacy in the EU, which is determined to keep its claim on the job in the face of challenges from countries such as India, Brazil and China.
But Europe’s negotiations have been bogged down by divisions between southern and northern eurozone countries that have objected to the next managing director coming from opposing camps. One diplomat said that France was positioning Ms Georgieva as the compromise candidate.
Ms Georgieva’s candidacy would require a change to an IMF rule that prevents a managing director over the age of 65 applying for the job. Despite France’s push for the change, it has been resisted by a majority of EU countries.
Mr Dijsselbloem is known to have the support of northern European capitals and Germany. He was chair of the eurogroup of finance ministers during the later stages of the eurozone crisis and emerged as an early frontrunner.
Mr Rehn, former Finnish EU commissioner for the economy, has a similar profile to Mr Dijsselbloem.
The absence of any candidate from southern Europe would suggest that neither Mr Rehn or Mr Dijsselbloem will be blocked by opposition from the likes of Spain, Italy or Portugal, which had voiced opposition to nationals from traditionally hawkish eurozone states.
Mark Carney, the Canada-born governor of the Bank of England, failed to win the backing of EU finance ministers earlier this month as capitals dismissed him for not being European enough, despite holding UK and Irish passports.
加拿大出生的英国央行(Bank of England)行长马克•卡尼(Mark Carney)尽管持有英国和爱尔兰护照，但在本月早些时候未能争取到欧盟国家财长的支持，因为这些国家的政府认为他算不上真正的欧洲人。
Ms Lagarde will step down in September. EU leaders picked France’s former finance minister as the next president of the European Central Bank last month.
The IMF has said it will appoint a managing director with a “distinguished record in economic policymaking at senior levels” with a “firm commitment to . . . multilateral co-operation”.