'Consensus' over new EBRD chief breaks up: Italians claim support for Amato

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The Independent Online
CONFUSION OVER the European Community candidates for the vacant presidency of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development reigned yesterday as bank directors from Belgium and Italy disagreed over whether consensus had been reached to appoint Jacques de Larosiere, head of the French central bank and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, AFP reports.

Guy Noppen, the director for Belgium, Luxembourg and Slovenia, said that Philippe Maystadt, the Belgian Finance Minister who is current president of the EC council of ministers, had sent a letter informing his EC counterparts that the member states had finally come to 'a consensus around the name of Jacques de Larosiere'.

But this was denied by the Italian director of the EBRD, Giuseppe Maresca, who insisted that the EC 'had not reached a consensus on a French candidate'.

He said: 'We know there is support for Giuliano Amato,' the former Italian prime minister.

Piero Barucci, the Italian Finance Minister, sent a letter to Mr Maystadt telling him there was no consensus, Mr Maresca said.

The same letter was also sent to Anne Wibble, the Swedish Finance Minister who chairs the board of governors of the EBRD.

Nominations closed on Wednesday.

Early yesterday the Danes withdrew their candidate, Henning Christophersen, the vice-president of the EC Commission.

This was believed to leave Mr Amato still in the running along with Mr de Larosiere and Leszek Balcerowicz, the former Polish finance minister.

The post was made vacant by the abrupt departure of the bank's founding president, Jacques Attali, in response to complaints of financial mismanagement and excessive spending.

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