EU's IMF race down to two as Bank of Finland chief Olli Rehn withdraws

Photo: Reuters

Bank of Finland chief Olli Rehn has withdrawn from the race to be the EU's pick for leading the IMF, a French finance ministry official said Friday, leaving just two candidates in contention.

Rehn's departure from the vote of EU ministers called by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire leaves just former Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva, the current number two at the World Bank, left in the race.

A second round of voting is now underway to choose between Dijsselbloem and Georgieva, the French ministry official said.

The choice of the candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who by convention is a European, had exposed deep divisions within the EU and forced Le Maire to call a vote.

Southern countries chafe at the prospect of seeing Dijsselbloem in the post because of his tough stance against nations like Greece when he headed the group of EU finance ministers.

Writing on his Twitter account, Rehn confirmed he was pulling out to find a unity candidate for the "exceptionally meaningful and motivating job." "I withdraw my name from the ballot, so that we can achieve a broad-based consensus for the European candidate, and world-wide support," he wrote.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel