Candidate backed

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The French Finance Minister, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, yesterday defended his country's right to name its own candidate for the central bank that will set policy for the single currency. France's decision last month to push Bank of France governor Jean-Claude Trichet as a candidate upset an understanding that the job would go to Dutch banker Wim Duisenberg, whom Germany supports.

Mr Duisenberg heads the European Monetary Institute, the precursor to the European Central Bank. -- AP, Bonn